Local businesses during COVID-19: Uptown Cheapskate


With the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, it was clear that life wasn’t going to be the same for quite some time. Many people faced with economic uncertainty had to learn or work from home, and also missed out on annual activities they would have participated in if there was no pandemic. While it’s easy to focus on how COVID-19 impacted oneself, many fail to consider how local businesses were impacted. 

In most cases, businesses in Allen were able to adapt to the changes of COVID-19. Uptown Cheapskate, a trendy, upscale resale clothing store for teenagers and young adults is considered a local business by many, and was one of the businesses that had to adapt to the changes of COVID-19. The store is in the Village of Allen, and is owned by Amanda Walls, who has had prior experience in resale stores. She took ownership right before many stores temporarily closed.

“I’ve owned the store since March,” said Walls. “I owned the store for a couple of weeks, and then COVID hit. We had to shut down for a little bit, but we’re doing great right now.”

According to Walls, “Traffic definitely slowed down” because “people were scared to go out and about a little bit” during March and April. In response to the widespread panic, Uptown Cheapskate offered different contact-free services. 

“We offered curbside pickup, and also had online sales,” Walls said. “We wanted to have those options to help people.”

Although the fear of the pandemic is a lot less widespread now, the store is still offering those different services. A few other changes were made in response to the pandemic, and the store has still kept them in order to be safe. 

“We now let people come in only two hours before closing to bring in their clothes so we have more time to process them. We’ve always asked for the items to be fresh and laundered, but now we’re really pushing that. If they’re not, then we ask them to do so. People are actually very understanding, and usually there are no complaints.”

Although wearing masks and social distancing can be a hassle for few, COVID-19 has shown the resilience of Allen. Allen businesses and citizens have worked hard to maintain economic and social stability throughout the uncertain times, and Uptown Cheapskate is a great example of a business that was able to adapt well. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday except on Sundays, when they are open 12-6 p.m. 

“Despite [COVID-19], we’re doing better than the store ever has before,” Walls said.