CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The mask mandate has been lifted in West Virginia. Small businesses are beginning to reopen to full capacity and you can see people roaming the downtown streets.
“I feel like just seeing more people out, it’s like navigating again, like learning how to talk to people, like being more social and everything,” said Leah Rafferty, Taylor Books Worker.
Both east and west side small businesses are popping up and staying open.
“I can tell you after working here at Stella’s, the number of people that stop here in Charleston, had no idea,” said Kim Rossi, Stella’s Owner.
The reason small businesses continue to attract both old and new attention is because they continue to be innovative and change with the times.
“Then the pandemic hit and shut everything down, so of course like everyone else we were affected tremendously, and anxiety of what to do and how to get through this pandemic and change with it and survive,” said Kim Rossi, Stella’s Owner.
“Online pick-up, curbside, being able to do no contact, and especially having such a small staff it was a lot easier to track symptoms and what our exposures were,” Sasha Strader, Appalachian Tea Owner.
Of course, small business owner perseverance keeps these businesses alive.
“We made the determination, you know so many people were like it’s a new business you should just go ahead and close and cut your losses and if anyone knows me they know I’m not that kind of person, so I’m very determined and wanted to stay here and be a part of downtown Charleston,” said Kim Rossi, Stella’s Owner.
With small business owner determination, support from the community, and more and more people getting vaccinated… life feels like it is slowly coming back to a new normal.