Cleveland Heights hardware store open since 1911: ‘Not our first pandemic’; remains open as essential business

Hardware & supply stores are considered essential businesses
Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 3:35 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - Business at Heights Hardware on Coventry has been steady for the last couple of weeks, in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay-at-home order, meaning all non-essential businesses have to close by Monday at 11:59 p.m.

Per the 23-page order, hardware and supply stores are considered essential.

Owner Andy Gathy said they are built for this.

“The store has been here since 1911, it’s not our first pandemic,” he said.

They’ve made some changes and are doing social distancing.

Only two people are allowed in the store at a time, they’ve blocked the aisles and put markers in place to remind customers to stay 6 feet away.

“It’s obviously changed everything. I will be using hand sanitizer as soon as I get back into my vehicle and social distancing," said one customer Monday afternoon.

Gathy said many folks are calling in orders for tools, electrical parts and paint for their projects.

“People are at home and stranded and they’re bored and they’re looking for other things to do in their house during this COVID-19 crisis so as far as business goes we’re fortunate and we’re still up and running," said Gathy.

He tells 19 News despite the uncertainty, the hardware store is taking the responsibility seriously.

“I think about it, anybody who works here, or comes here, you’re putting yourself at risk,” said Gathy. “We’ve had customers come in here and they’ve had problems where their water shut off and they needed parts to get their water back up and running so I suppose that’s what they mean by essential. People need water in their house, people need electricity. I guess it’s a good feeling that you’re needed," he said.

Here is a list of essential businesses from the stay-at-home order.

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