USA Raft stays afloat amid new Covid-19 guidelines


The Tri-Cities rafting company has seen success despite opening back up just two weeks ago

ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – USA Raft not only handles water experiences on the Nolichucky River, but also features lodging, retail and food service, so there’s plenty of guidelines for the local business to handle.

Owner Matt Moses knows the adjustments weren’t easy, but there hasn’t been too many hiccups and he will also continue to implement some of the new rules.

“It’s coming together and it’s working well. Masked drivers, we’ve definitely changed, all of operations changed,” Moses said. “Some of these new initiatives we put in place because of Covid, we’re going to keep them, there’s some efficiencies.”

USA raft opened up two weeks ago after the coronavirus devastated not only their operations, but plenty of other businesses. Despite the bump in the road, the Erwin business is getting back on track.

“Phones are ringing, people are showing up. The crowds are starting to return for the summer, we’re now practiced at these new norms and it’s working well,” Moses said.

A big reason some Tri-Cities businesses are able to stay open is because of, which is a site dedicated for small businesses and communities to connect and help each other. Moses said this was crucial for Tennessee businesses to get back on their feet.

“It’s a fund, it’s a grant for small businesses. We did not apply in the first round, even though we were apart of it, but I didn’t know if we were going to be able to reopen,” Moses said. “But things like that have helped so many of my friends that own small businesses in this region and Tennessee is once again proving to be the Volunteer state.”

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