A sign of the times: Local sign shop sees orders shift amid pandemic

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — While many businesses are suffering, sign companies say they have been seeing the opposite.

Signs are everywhere speaking about the adjustments everyone is having to make. But how often do we think about the people who make the signs?

“Fifty of one thing or a hundred of one thing, and most of it is kind of safety-oriented,” said Teresa Gonzalez, the co-owner of Signs Now on Fulton Avenue.

Gonzalez has been in the business for around 30 years.

Shortly after the stay-at-home order went into effect, it became clear that Signs Now was an essential business.

“The first week, we did a lot of stuff for hospitals and health organizations,” Gonzalez told FOX40. “And then it started shifting to restaurants and schools for the graduation signs.”

She said the volume of business is not much different than before COVID-19 but the types of orders have changed as rapidly as the times we’re living in.

“It’s been crazy, very, very crazy,” Gonzalez said.

Some of the jobs are whimsical. Some orders are kind of sad.

“The sad ones are the graduations for the seniors,” Gonzalez said. “It says ‘class of 2020’ and they’re not going to get to have a ceremony and get their diploma presented to them. They just have to have a sign in the yard.”

The responsibility gets heavier when considering the signs might be the difference between a business surviving or shutting down.

“We’ve had some restaurant owners who have said that their sales increased once they put their signs out and people knew that they were open,” Gonzalez explained.

And then there are signs that are helping preserve public health.

“This message Kaiser needed to have to let people into the hospital,” Gonzalez said.

Knowing how important these orders are, Gonzalez told FOX40 the shop is trying to get them done within 24 hours, or a few days for larger ones. The work sometimes goes on past closing time.

That’s all part of being an essential business right now. It’s an opportunity to serve your neighbors or, in this case, make signs of the times.

“Whatever we can do to help the businesses, help people, we’re there for them,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the only material that’s really hard to come by right now is clear acrylic, which is used for sneeze guards. Orders involving that material may take a few weeks.

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