Another independent Jamaica Plain business is closing due to the continued financial impact of the Coronavirus. The kids clothing and toy store Hatched recently announced it will not be reopening. Hatched owner and JP resident Liz Vittori Koch told Jamaica Plain News that it didn't make sense to continue to operate the brick and mortar store at 668 Centre St. during these unsettling times. The store had previously been located at 5 Green St., and moved six years ago.
The impacts of the Coronavirus continue to be felt, as the popular Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge announced its permanent closure on Wednesday. In a June 17th Facebook post, the business owners outlined that not only the loss of money in the last several months deep sixed them, but also because social distancing goes against their business model. "The mission of our business is to gather people together in groups, to foster social closeness --the opposite of social distancing. Gathering in groups is not going to be a safe activity until there is a widely-available vaccine or treatment. We are not comfortable putting our team members and guests at risk of contracting the virus while working and dining in our space.
JP Reps Fitness Studio celebrated its second anniversary in March, but they won't be able to make it to their third, as it's another casualty of the Coronavirus. "We believed that things would work out, and that in a short amount of time, we would return to tap backs, and push ups, inches from one another. We moved to online classes, we rented out bikes and kettle bells, and we kept sliding into your DM’s and emails with updates each week," said the Instagram post. "Sadly, all of those efforts just weren't enough, so it is with a heavy heart, and tears in our eyes, that we regret to inform you all, that REPS JP will not reopen with the phased relaunches implemented by the local government." The company made no mention of its other location in Beacon Hill closing, and will honor credits purchased from JP at that location.
With triple Boston’s rate of COVID-19 infection and six times the rate of Massachusetts as a whole, Chelsea’s 40,000 residents have experienced far more than their fair share of the pandemic. Chelsea is a close-knit community, so everyone knows someone who has gotten sick, and many know someone who has died. I'm a Jamaica Plain resident Stefanie Shull, and I run the CONNECT economic mobility partnership based at The Neighborhood Developers. CONNECT serves 3,500 people/year, most of whom live in Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Malden, and East Boston. Before the pandemic hit, I was focused on building more robust training and job placement services in the area, to take advantage of the strong economy. As the U.S. outbreak took hold in early March, it was clear that would need to be set aside. Having worked on post-Katrina recovery in Louisiana for three years, I felt like I had some idea of what was coming.
Eliminating self-serve coffee stations, having no more than four people in an elevator at one time, and other best public health practices are part of the city's recommended strategies to return to places of work. "Our first and foremost priority in making available these guidelines is to empower businesses and employers to act now and put in place safety precautions and protocols before beginning to reopen," said Mayor Marty Walsh. On Thursday the city announced guidance and operational recommendations for businesses, employers and commercial landlords to consider as part of their return-to-work strategies for office workplaces. These are not regulations, but additional considerations to supplement state and federal mandates around building and property management. Areas such as social distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting, are specific to Phase 1 of the Commonwealth's phased reopening plan.