What follows are responses from town resident Phil Williams, owner of New Canaan Music on Main Street, to our Q&A on how the local business is navigating the COVID-19 emergency here.
New Canaanite: What has the past week been like for you and New Canaan Music?
Phil Williams: This is a very trying time and like many local merchants, we are feeling the hardship of the situation. We have been doing everything we can to keep life as close to normal as possible but this is an unprecedented crisis. A lot of what we are going through right now is new to everyone. The health and well-being of our families, employees, customers, and the community is what is most important to us. We are also mindful of our moral obligation to help out our instructors. Our instructors are all pro musicians and with no public gatherings, their gigs have all been cancelled and therefore incomes have been cut significantly. We are hoping to help keep them working and get through this while providing a safe environment for our students to continue their lessons.
How fluid is this situation for you?
The situation is quite fluid for us. We are continuing to make every effort to meet the needs of our customers and students with safety and doing what is right being our top priority. We are constantly adjusting our protocols to adapt to the fast paced changing circumstances around us.
How are you accommodating customers and clients differently?
We moved all our music lessons to a virtual format so students can take their lessons from home. With this new format we have the capability of providing lessons to our existing students as well as opening the virtual door to new students, who we are encouraging to sign up. Students can enroll in our virtual music lesson program by emailing or calling the store. Learning an instrument is a great way to stay engaged in an activity that doesn’t require leaving the house. Being cooped up at home is not healthy over an extended period of time so having positive outlets is essential. In addition, New Canaan Music, as always, is a fully stocked store with everything from music books to fine instruments and everything in between. We are open by appointment to limit the flow of foot traffic. We are also open for curbside pickups and repair drop offs. In addition, we are making local deliveries during our regular business hours. We continue to ship merchandise via UPS for out-of-area customers. This is especially useful for sending gifts for birthdays and other events.
What are your thoughts for the near future, what is your concern level regarding your business’s ability to navigate this time?
I am an optimist by nature so I know we will pull together as a community and get through this. However, this optimism is not blind to the realities of the situation. I am very concerned for the future of businesses in New Canaan and across the country. New Canaan Music is meeting this challenge with as much pragmatism and creativity as possible. We will hold true to our mission statement and continue to provide the community with top quality musical instruments and music education.
What is your message to customers?
We are truly grateful to our customers and credit them for our success over the last seven years. We will continue to be here for them throughout this difficult time. We urge them to reach out to us if we can be of help. Stay healthy and be well.
- Here’s the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 homepage. Here’s the virus-related page on the Connecticut Department of Public Health website.
- Here’s a link to a page on the town’s website that includes information on COVID-19 and a link to sign up for New Canaan’s emergency outcall system.
- Here’s a snapshot of what was open and closed in New Canaan on March 17. For updated info, see our daily newsletter (sign up here).
- Here’s a link to the New Canaan Office of Emergency Management Facebook page.
- Here’s a landing page with information from New Canaan Public Schools on COVID-19, here’s the district’s main page for E-Learning.
[Editor’s Note: During the town emergency due to COVID-19, NewCanaanite.com is publishing a daily Q&A with a local business navigating major changes in the community.]