Small businesses and COVID-19


photo by Brian Abbott

A look inside Speakeasy Records & Oddities with owner, Brian Abbott.

Many non-essential businesses are currently closed at the moment due to the spread of coronavirus. One of the businesses experiencing this non-permanent closure is Speakeasy Records & Oddities, which is located locally in Decatur, Illinois.

“It’s more than just a retail store that sells records,” owner of Speakeasy Records & Oddities, Brian Abbott said.

Speakeasy Records & Oddities houses many genres of records, rock and roll memorabilia, live music, and a coffee bar. There is no other place in Decatur like it.

“Most importantly The Speakeasy is a community place that supports art and everyone is welcomed without judgment,” Abbott said.

With the state of Illinois still on lockdown, SpeakeasyRecords & Oddities is temporarily closed. The supportive community of record aficionados, artists, and musicians are surely missing them.

As many businesses are doing at the moment, Speakeasy Records & Oddities offers opportunities for clients to pick up merchandise.

“In order to get The Speakeasy in people’s minds and to drum up at least a little cash, I use social media,” Abbott said. “To sell some items and have recently started accepting appointments for merchandise pickup.”

As an example, Speakeasy Records & Oddities Facebook page advertises packages for pickup that include things like tee shirts, gift cards, stickers, buttons, etc. in their “Sunday packages.”

“Where is the money going? Bands need a place to play, especially young ones, and those playing originals,” Abbott said on his Facebook page, “It will require a building permit, a small outdoor viable stage(sturdy with proper footings), some outlets and lighting, a portion of a privacy fence on the north side bordering Eldorado, and a bit of landscaping.”

“100% of these Sunday packages will go to this endeavor, and those that buy a package will also get to sign the fence as a contributor along with all the bands that play on that stage to say thank you,” the Facebook page said.