ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Small businesses are dealing with a lot right now from the ongoing pandemic. These issues include staff shortages and mental health which have a big effect on workers.

On Tuesday, April 19, Lynchburg-based Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts’ owner Frederick Willis announced he was going to take a break due to ongoing issues with mental health which would force the popular establishment to close its doors.

“I’ve been struggling with mental health issues all my entire life, not a huge deal but sometimes these things tend to get the better of us and that’s the case here,” said Willis.

This message served as a wake-up call to all who work in small businesses that dealing with mental health issues is a critical aspect of personal health.

“I think it’s important to analyze how you’re doing. I love that putting your mental health first has gotten to be very mainstream and people are realizing how important that is,” said Carly Almarez, manager of Chocolate Paper in downtown Roanoke.

Just like Almarez, Rayna Christman, the manager of Walkabout Outfitter in Roanoke, says small businesses are being influenced by a lot of factors and need support.

“I think every single small business needs more support and not just from staff, but from community members supporting us and coming into small local businesses, it helps in more ways than you’d imagine,” said Christman.

Both managers say they enjoy working in a small business because they’ve developed family-like relationships which help with mental stability.

“The lines of communication between me and my staff [are] extremely opened so we can communicate just person-to-person or text or email and try to be responsive to what people need,” Christman said.

Christman says she has worked for a big corporation and a small business. She feels working for a small business has been better for her mental health.

Both managers say they allow employees to take mental health days when needed.

Meanwhile, the owner of Mama Crockett’s says he will be back with one truck in the fall.

“As Mama always says, it’s just donuts,” said Willis.