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How local East Texas essential businesses are coping with the COVID-19 outbreak

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – While life under ‘stay at home’ orders and social distancing doesn’t look routine or normal, everyday services like pest control, plumbing, heating and air, and many others are essential for life.

For them, it’s about how to navigate the changes to keep customers and employees safe.

“In East Texas, this time of the year, when it’s 85 to 90 degrees outside and 85 to 90% humidity, you cannot stay in your home without air conditioning,” said Rick Walker, co-owner of The Original Evans Air Conditioning and Heating.

They say they have been doing a lot of research to keep customers safe.

“I get a lot of information from Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Texas Air Conditioning Contractors of America,” said Rick. “And so we’ve been going over that with the employees to give them some ideas of where we are and what we can offer the customers and what the customers can expect from us.”

What they can expect is a well-sanitized technician outfitted with gloves, a mask, and booties. This keeps the customer safe, but also the technician.

“You get to know everybody and care about them and you want to make sure that they can provide for their families and that they’re safe,” said Dicksie Walker, who also co-owns The Original Evans Air Conditioning and Heating.

Benny Attaway, owner of APS Pest Control echos that same sentiment.

“It’s just like everybody else, the health, we want to make sure everybody stays healthy and take care of our families first,” said Attaway.

And when it comes to keeping APS customers safe…

“Well, we’re more focused on making sure we’re wearing our PPE’s and doing the 6 foot and the not socializing,” said Attaway.

Both say business is slower than usual, which has its tolls on small companies.

“The importance of small businesses is it’s one or two people’s dream that they have worked all their lives for, finally are reaching their dreams and goals and then if it is wiped out by a virus or whatever, it’s just hard,” said Dicksie. “It’s hard thinking about that.”

Hard to think about, but a very real possibility for small businesses across the country.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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