Coronavirus forces Heart, TheZe DealZ to close, but you can still shop

Local shops are using the Internet to make sales

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Small local retail shops are hoping to use the power of the Internet to stay afloat.

Due to a reduction of traffic to the Oregon District due to business closures and changes related to the coronavirus, the owners of Heart Mercantile, the popular snarky shop at 438 E. Fifth St., have decided to temporarily close.

As coronavirus cases climbed in the state, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered K-12 schools to shut down for three weeks starting March 16, prohibited mass gatherings of more than 100, and banned visitors at nursing homes and state psychiatric hospitals.

The governor recently ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms, rec centers, movie theaters, tattoo parlors, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and some other types of businesses.

>> RELATED: These women helped Dayton show its ‘HEART’ in 2019

“We are trying to make any money we can without coming into contact with people,” co-owner Carly Short says in video posted to the business’ Facebook page. “We are going to get through this as a community.”

Credit: Heart Mercantile

Credit: Heart Mercantile

She said that the store known for its penis-shaped soaps, whimsical mugs, Dayton-centric T-shirts and comical books and cards intends to lighten the mood with its social media posts.

>> Which Dayton-area restaurants are offering carryout, delivery and curbside service?

The story is offering shipped items with a $5 fee or as well as curbside pickup. There is free shipping over $100.

>> Dollar General dedicating first hour of shopping to senior citizens

Items can be viewed on the shop’s website, or Facebook page. 

They can be purchased by email or Facebook Messenger.

The owners of other Dayton boutiques are likewise trying to use the power of the Internet to connect with fans.

TheZe DealZ- A Thrifty Boutique owner Zontaye Richardson has temporarily closed the business, 3183 W. Siebenthaler Drive in Dayton, out of concern for employees and customers.

>> Downtown, Oregon District businesses want you to know they are OPEN 

“We will take it week by week,” Richardson said via Facebook Messenger. “I am also offering private shopping by appointments and offering subscription boxes/bags.”

>> ‘Thrifty boutique’ reopening in bigger Dayton space this weekend

The shop plans to do Facebook Live videos 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday in which items for sale will be displayed and its business partners will be featured.

Items will be available for pickup 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

More information can be found on the business' Facebook page or

About the Author