Cortland Business Owner Cautiously Optimistic About Reopening

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ENFIELD, NY (WSKG) – Steve Wineburg will reopen his business, Bernard’s Custom Logo & Trophy, on Monday for the first time since March.

The Central New York region is one of the first to partially reopen. The Cortland County business is starting with fewer staff, working fewer hours. Wineburg said to begin he is bringing back two of the three full-time employees. They are scheduled on separate days and not for their regular 40-hour work week.

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashlee Galloway

 (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashlee Galloway)

“This is adequate for now,” he said. “I’ll re-evaluate next week and see what happens, and the next week I’ll re-evaluate again,” Wineburg added he will bring back more employees if they are needed.

Wineburg said he misses his staff.

“I never thought I’d miss my staff as much as I do, but, I do miss my staff. I miss my friends,” he said. “I love my wife and my kids, but, you know, we need more.”

With his small staff wearing masks and the store disinfected, Wineburg expects his business can reopen safely, but he is worried it is happening too soon. He said he would feel safer if things had stayed shut down until June 1.

“It takes that one person walking through the door,” he said. “That one person being curbside that happens to cough on me, then who knows.”

The business mostly engraves trophies and plaques for colleges and high schools, but there is another part of Bernard’s Custom Logo & Trophy which experienced large losses because of the shutdown. The store also makes t-shirts for graduating seniors, prom and wedding souvenirs and rent tuxedos. Wineburg estimated prom cancellations and wedding postponements will cost him $80,000 to $120,000. He said he will never recover that money.

“It’s going to take anywhere from six months to two years to get business back to where it could be if nothing else happens.”

Bernard’s Custom Logo & Trophy was started by Wineburg’s grandfather 80 years ago. Wineburg said the pandemic is not going to close them down.