GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Most of us might use the term "essential" when it comes to our computers right now.
Whether it's to communicate with friends and family, to access online learning programs and entertainment for our kids or to access medical records and information, it's never been more important that our tech has to be up and running well.
Imperial Computer Solutions is one of the tech shops still open during the COVID-19 shutdown. Co-owner Aaron VanderWall and his staff are still accepting walk-ins at their locations but are limiting them to one customer at a time.
"We're used to having a lot of traffic in the store," VanderWall said. "But right now, we're focusing on remote work. People are still needing to stay connected to medical, education and the news, and we're able to do that remotely for them."
Imperial Computer Solutions is offering a free remote diagnostics scan for anyone having difficulty with their gear. Customers are encouraged to visit logmein123.com, where, after a few simple steps and clicks, the staff at his shop can gain access to a customer's home computer and run tests. After that, a quote can be given, and the customer can decide whether to move forward with the work being done remotely right then and there.
The company is also prioritizing work done for essential workers, like those in the medical community.
"We know these people are super busy right now," VanderWall said. "We're giving them a discount and ... pushing them to the front of the line, so we can hopefully get that stuff back to them — so they can still communicate with their families."
In addition, VanderWall and his staff are accepting computers from assisted living facilities, where this technology is currently the only way for some to connect with their loved ones. The computers are sanitized, fixed or upgraded, sanitized once more and returned all without person-to-person interaction.
You can find Imperial Computer Solutions, also known as Imperial Computer Repair, at two locations: 6151 Kalamazoo Ave. and 3535 Plainfield Ave. NE.
"We're Open West Michigan" is a series by FOX 17 that puts customers in touch with essential businesses that are still open during the coronavirus pandemic. If you are a business that wants to be featured in this series, click on this link to fill out a short form to be considered.
As we continue our "We're Open West Michigan" series, you'll notice a strong emphasis on restaurants. These establishments and their staffs have been one of the hardest hit by the state's stay-at-home mandate.
So don't forget to take part in #TakeOutTuesday if you have the means. Each Tuesday, skip the cooking and order delivery or takeout from your favorite restaurant and help them through these tough times.
You can see a list of those establishments and get information on how to add yours to the list here.