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Pandemic affects small businesses differently

As a boutique prepares to go out of business, a zero-waste store expands.
Published: Nov. 29, 2020 at 8:00 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Three-fourths of a year into the coronavirus pandemic and business owners are still finding their footing. Some have even closed their doors, while other businesses have opened.

As a boutique prepares to go out of business, a zero-waste store expands. For the owner of Main Street’s Revival, the pandemic was the tipping point for closing their doors.

“She’d been thinking about it for a couple of years and we decided, oh, let’s go another year,” said Arnette Correa, Revival’s manager. “But then things kind of slowed down a little bit last year and then when COVID hit, it was just the right decision to make.”

For Bestowed Essentials out of Hippie Haven, having an online presence not only kept sales afloat but caused an influx of sales leading to expansion.

“Our online store is the reason we are able to get through this year. And like I mentioned, our store was closed for three months during the beginning of the pandemic and we would not have been able to continue paying rent on our store location if we didn’t have online sales coming in,” said Callee Ackland with Bestowed Essentials and Hippie Haven. “And I’m glad that we already had an online presence well established before the pandemic even started.”

Correa said the number of customers has always fluctuated for downtown stores, but less foot traffic over the years has been a breaking point for some.

“Earlier in the year, four stores on this block closed,” said Correa. “This was even before COVID. Right at the first of the year, we lost four boutiques and that was hard on us also.”

Ackland said they feel the occasional lack of foot traffic as well.

“I think that can definitely hurt our foot traffic, is the parking prices. Sometimes not being able to find parking and then I think there’s so many empty storefronts on main street and I think that kind of deters people from wanting to go to the remaining businesses,” said Ackland.

Bestowed Essentials continues to thrive, but Revival will close up shop just before Christmas.

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