TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Oklahoma businesses made adjustments during the pandemic to serve customers, but as state health officials predict the virus becoming less severe, those companies are restructuring how they operate.
ARC Document Solutions in Tulsa provides scanning and printing to businesses across the regional U.S., but during the pandemic, they took hold of opportunities on products only they could provide.
The social distancing, masking, and signs six feet apart on business floors and doors were created by their workers, but for months those products aren't getting the sales they once were.
"It probably slowed down at the end of 2021," said Darin Garner, regional director of operations for ARC Document Solutions. "People, I think, were ready to get back to work and ready to get back to normal. They almost saw these as a way of peeling these graphics up and moving on."
Garner said other areas of the country, like New Orleans, still purchase their signs but although Oklahoma companies aren't buying pandemic-related signs, ARC didn't lose their business.
"It's went from people printing and having the social distancing graphics made, to sprucing up their stores," he said. "They think of us first because of the social distancing graphics that we have provided for them in the past."
ARC has expanded its clientele to school districts, hospitals, and churches because of the services it provided during the pandemic.
As state health officials expect the pandemic to turn into an endemic, or the world living with COVID without as much risk of surges, ARC is adjusting to the changes.
Garner said the company is transitioning back to making signs for new businesses or posters for big events. It's a sign of where Oklahoma is headed.
Other companies were created out of the pandemic, like Mobile COVID Testing LLC. Owner Evelyn Whitworth is a nurse and started the business out of her Volkswagen. She would go door-to-door giving COVID tests. The business developed to a van providing testing to lines of cars throughout Green Country.
"I, you know, don't like that the community goes through COVID, but I do enjoy being able to help people," said Whitworth.
She said testing comes in waves and, though it is down right now, people are still in need of her services.
"I am looking at the situation, and I believe I'll have to be making some adjustments," she said. "Testing definitely has gone down, but there's a lot of stuff out there and a lot of ways for us to grow the business. So, I'm not looking at going out of business anytime soon."
Just as the beginning of the pandemic was an adjustment for businesses, so are the phases over the past two years, including now.