ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Although restrictions were loosened for a few months, some small businesses are still struggling from the harsh conditions during the pandemic. Those months of closed doors and restrictions took a big hit on small businesses in the state.
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“2021 I remember being real excited to put 2020 behind us and it was looking up for a little bit,” said small business owner Jesse Herron.
The first few months of this summer New Mexico spent re-opened were not enough to make up for the loss in revenue. “There’s no finish line which I think this year most people were really hoping for a finish line to put this whole thing behind us,” said Herron.
Herron is the owner of Painted Lady Bed and Brew. He says he saw some improvement during the tourism season this year. “In June I had my best June ever,” said Herron.
The cheeky new take on a bed and breakfast keeps things small. “When people are here in their rooms or private areas they aren’t expected to wear a face mask,” said Herron.
That means contact and big groups aren’t a big worry but as restrictions ramp back up and with fewer people traveling, the future is uncertain. “It’s real scary it’s difficult to plan for the future when you don’t know when you’re going to get to that point basically,” said Herron.
Herron went to the city for help, getting a $10,000 small business entrepreneurial recovery grant. “It helps pad some of the uneasiness,” said Herron.
His other saving grace less than a month away is the International Balloon Fiesta. Fiesta brings in thousands of people, possibly looking for a quirky place to stay. “We’ve been booked for the most part for probably the past three or four months,” said Herron.
Even though the week of Fiesta is booked way in advance, he’s keeping a close eye on any changes for his guests and his business. “As long as we can get through and have a balloon fiesta that’s just the biggest ticket that helps out so many small businesses here,” said Herron.
The City of Albuquerque will start distributing the grant money on Friday, September 10th. 1,721 local small businesses applied.