Small local businesses suffering from new COVID-19 restrictions

SPOKANE, Wash. — Businesses across the nation are suffering from the pandemic. In downtown Spokane, some small shops that rely on tourists are being hit hard.

Decorum Gifts is owned by Antonio Holder, who took over ownership in February. When the first shutdown happened, he thought everything would be over by the middle of summer.

“During the temporary shutdown in the beginning we still had hope, and we still do,” Holder explained. “It’s just hard not knowing how long it’s going to last nor where we’re going to be at a month from now or six months from now.”

His shop expects a lot of traffic from Hoopfest, so the cancellation was a big blow.

“A lot of our business comes from tourists, so when the hotels are at the capacity that they’re at, it makes it tough because then we have to look for other alternatives to get people in the store,” Holder said.

Holder said he started selling items online using Amazon and Instagram. He said it’s helped, but calls it an uphill battle.

“So what we’ve done mostly is we’re advertising on Facebook pretty heavily, so we’ve created some content videos,” he explained. “We’re also going to be doing kind of like a mini Christmas Tree Elegance in a sense, all throughout the store.”

Businesses like his gift shop can only function at 25% capacity now rather than 50%.

“I know me personally this store is my baby. I love it with everything,” Holder said. “I love the customers we have here, so I’m going to do everything in my power to keep this store afloat.”

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