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Area businesses taking impacts ‘day-to-day’

Area businesses are coping the best they can in the midst of the coronavirus which has forced layoffs and created challenges for employers.

Dan Klingerman, CEO of Liberty Group, conceded Monday that about 10 percent of his 6,000 employees are temporarily out of work.

“Locally, it’s a small percentage,” he said. “Probably less than 10 percent.”

Not all the companies under Liberty Group have been forced to lay off people, according to Klingerman.

Local hotels such as Econo Lodge, Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites have remained open, while additional Liberty Group holdings such as Perkins Restaurant, Frosty Valley Country Club, Danville, and other operations have scaled back work.

Liberty Arena in downtown Williamsport, which offers indoor sports as well as entertainment and dining, was among the bigger operations forced to close as a result of COVID-19, Klingerman noted.

Perkins, for example, remains open for food orders, but not walk-in customers.

“We kept grounds people on at Frosty Valley,” he said.

Local nursing homes under Liberty Group continue to operate as always.

Liberty’s IT department, he said, has done a great job of setting employees up to allow them to telecommute to their workplace.

“We are not forcing anyone to go to work. It’s their choice if they want to come in,” he said. “The majority of our people locally are still working.”

The coronavirus has brought tough times for everyone, he said, while adding he’s optimistic that the community will pull through it.

“We are a resilient bunch,” he said. “Everyone needs to stay focused.”

Rick Piger, chief financial officer for Staiman Recycling, said the business has cut down on its retail operations.

Staiman operates a recycling center in Williamsport and also has locations in Hanover and Elmira, New York.

“Right now, it’s kind of day-to-day,” Piger said. “We are serving our essential businesses.”

A few employees were temporarily let go with business slowing down, he said.

“We are kind of a little antsy of what the future holds,” he said.

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