TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Dozens of businesses are now permanently closed, as the pandemic continues to leave a devastating impact on the Big Bend.
Those still open are hoping 2021 will bring them more success than in recent months.
The owner of Knotz and Mane said it can only get better from here after their business came to a halt for months
With a vaccine and more stimulus help on the way, they are feeling better about surviving the new year.
Dana Brouer recalled she had just signed the lease on her new location when the state went on lockdown.
Her profit, like many, took a major hit and with bills still due, she said they had to make a decision on whether to close.
They eventually applied for Leon CARES Act funds and were approved.
Brouer said that money made the difference, allowing them to keep doors open.
Although they aren't back to normal business, they are hoping they’ll see that turn around in 2021.
"The good thing for my business is that people are looking into natural solutions and ways to boost their immunity. What I'm hoping is that trend will continue in 2021. I'm also hoping to reach more people," said Brouer.
As many small businesses are working to survive, others in the area are opening.
Island OMG Seafood's second location opened in Tallahassee in early December.
They said while the pandemic has impacted others, Tallahassee has definitely shown support of small local businesses and they feel the demand will be positive for their new restaurant.
The restaurant, seeing success at their Thomasville location during the pandemic, decided they could finally expand, now employing 50 people in the Capital City.
With many businesses and restaurants closing in 2020, they said that they are fortunate to do this now.
On the first day of the new year, their grand opening and owners told ABC 27 the response is encouraging looking to the future, with a message of encouragement for other business owners.
"Don't be discouraged thinking that because other things are shutting down around you that you can't start and move forward with your dreams. You can still do the same thing, you may have to go back to the drawing board and strategize a plan that works for you and customize it due to COVID but it can still work," said Felicia Stanley.
Stanley and Neteia Lee, along with their husbands take pride in being a family-run business., and while they also just opened they are already looking to expand again.
They hope to bring more jobs to the Big Bend, especially to those who might have lost their jobs during the pandemic.