Novel coronavirus potentially impacting local businesses


VICTORIA, Texas – Novel coronavirus has crowded headlines for several weeks, with no end in sight. The Center for Disease Control is now saying it’s no question of “if” it will affect the U.S, but “when” it will. We spoke with a local dress shop, Bliss Formals, that depends heavily on trade with Asia. 

Amy Nowlin, owner of the formal wear shop, fills racks with elaborate shiny dresses. She says, “We do work with a variety of vendors overseas, that’s where their manufacturing takes place. And yes, it is a concern.” 

The formal gown industry works a season in advance, dresses coming in at this time have been ordered way in advance, easing concerns, but only for now.

“We’re not really seeing much of an impact with shipping or any problems, however in time, if this virus progresses and gets worse, and manufacturing is forced to shut down for long periods of time, then yes, next season, we will see a problem,” explains Nowlin.

The CDC announced this week that the U.S. should expect ‘significant disruption’ as health officials prepare for an inevitable spread.

At the moment, Chinese health officials are shutting down numerous businesses in an effort to control spread, leading to an impact on the global economy.

“When we’re talking about bridal gowns [and] bridesmaids gowns, those are long term. We can see three to four month manufacturing processing [for those],” adds Nowlin.

However, not all hope is lost for a soon-to-be bride in the area. “There’s no reason to panic, I mean, yes it will impact some, but not all. We work with a lot of vendors in the United States, vendors that are California based so there are going to be options, it’s just going to be certain labels that are going to be impacted,” says Nowlin.