Business owners everywhere are scrambling to learn new skills of operation to keep their doors open under the new health mandates. Bryan and Claire Northcutt own two businesses, and they know full well what it takes to keep a business alive during this pandemic.

Beacon Insulation started up over a decade ago and provides homeowners with solutions for keeping homes energy efficient. Bryan had to figure out how to keep both homeowners and his workers as safe as possible and still stay in business. Proprietors have to first educate themselves about the new guidelines and that can be difficult as mandates change on a monthly, sometimes weekly, basis.

Beacon Insulation is able to provide their services and still social distance from their customers. Bryan makes sure his workers also stay separated while performing their tasks. Measures had to be taken to assure that even during traveling as a work force to and from a job they keep the recommended six feet apart. All of this called for changes in the way Northcutt operated his insulation business.

Additionally, the Northcutt’s own and operate both short and long-term rental properties. They have the closest vacation rental properties located to the main street activities of Fort Payne. They operate under the online marketplace Airbnb which sets the standards based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We had to space our customers of short-term rentals apart by 72 hours if we wanted to stay open. Also, the chemicals we use to clean with have to be hospital grade,” said Claire Northcutt. “I think our customers feel comfortable because they recognize we are willing to do whatever it takes to comply with the guidelines.”

When the pandemic brought about big changes to the way business was conducted the Northcutt’s rallied together as a family and took on tasks and roles in the business that they previously had not performed. “Initially, we kept the work at our rental places in-house to make sure we understood exactly how things should be done so we could eventually train those who would fulfill those roles,” said Claire. “Not only do we want our guests safe we also want those who work for us to be as safe as possible.”

The Northcutt’s have five children and found their children love getting involved with the family businesses. The entrepreneurial spirit the Northcutt’s have is being passed on to the next generation. Their 12-year-old daughter decided to earn money for her mission trip by setting up a snack stand in their short-term rental space.

Anyone interested in long or short-term rental space, call 334-319-7768. For Beacon Insulation call 334-524-4977.

— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition.

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