‘Trying to stay optimistic’: Local businesses still struggling weeks after shutdown ends

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even though many places are back open, for many small businesses, it’s still not business as usual.

Sweet Combfort and Wingman Kitchen in Westport opened just weeks before the shutdown. As a new business, co-owner Quincy Crutchfield said the key to their survival has been flexibility.

“When we opened, we definitely didn’t have this in mind,” Crutchfield said. “It was around Super Bowl weekend. A good time to open, we thought.”

Crutchfield said he’s thankful for curbside pick-up and to-go, which has helped sustain the business and even grown their social media following.

But some customers are still wary to come in his business and the dozens of others in Westport.

The Kansas City entertainment district was a popular area before the pandemic and still sees a good amount of people, depending on the time of day.

But COVID-19 has still had a major impact on these KC businesses.

“It is very slow, trying to stay optimistic about things,” said Nicole Ortega, owner of Clothz Minded. “I have some very great customers who are loyal and supportive.”

Ortega is also shifting focus to how she manages sales and pushing for online purchases from customers.

“‘I had to change my frame of mind. I’m thinking of this as my warehouse,” Ortega said.

These small business owners and many more said the best way you can support them right now is online. Both Ortega and Crutchfield’s businesses are active on social media, where you can also make purchases. 

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