Local businesses react to latest restrictions, closures

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many businesses are worried they can’t survive another round of closures. Some businesses said they saw this coming.

Others said they were blindsided and said that this could cause irreparable harm to small businesses in New Mexico. “I am so close to bursting into tears at any second,” Jessica Carothers said. “Our small businesses are trying so hard to be COVID safe and do all the things we can do. What more can we do? What more could we have done?”

Carothers owns Blo Blow Dry Bar and Waxing the city. Her businesses, and the rest of the nonessential businesses statewide, are shutting down again Monday. Carothers said they haven’t had a single case at her shops since reopening back in June. “I feel like we did everything we could,” Carothers said. “I felt like we were doing everything right.”

Restaurants like Garcia’s Kitchen are getting ready to go back to curbside and delivery only. “It is really hard to open and close, open and close, open and close,” Dan Garcia said.

“We have three kids that work at restaurants,” Albuquerque resident Andris Madrid said. “Last time she did this, they lost their jobs.”

Some locally owned gyms are bracing to let go of their employees too. “My poor staff… I have got to lay them all off,” Lorraine Higgins at Orangetheory Fitness said. “They don’t have an extra $600 a week coming in.”

Even places like the Biopark didn’t make the cut. “It is kind of wrong,” Madrid said. “There is only like 10 or 15 people in the zoo right now.”

Big box stores remain open but with capacity severely reduced. People worry there will be a rush to the stores this weekend ahead of the long lines people are anticipating starting Monday. “There is no problem or issue of me standing in like for 45 minutes,” Albuquerque resident Herold Tafoya said. “I don’t care as long as I walk out of there, and I am alive the next week.”

Carothers said she bought $10,000 worth of merchandise for the holidays, retail’s busiest time of the year. She said she worries it will go to waste since this order lasts beyond Thanksgiving and Black Friday. “Target and Walmart will still be open for Black Friday, but I won’t be,” Carothers said.

The businesses said they understand the latest order. “I personally know people who have been in the hospital and have been affected and stuff like that,” Garcia said. “This is probably a good thing for the governor to do.”

However, Carothers said shops like hers are hanging on by a thread. “It feels so heartbreaking to be shut down again,” Carothers said.

One thing the businesses all fear is that this will last longer than two weeks and unlike the last shutdown, these businesses will not have the extra money from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Carothers said she is getting calls from people trying to get last-minute appointments this weekend ahead of the shelter in place going into effect Monday.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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