It’s been more than one week since Governor Greg Abbott implemented phase three of his plan to reopen Texas businesses, which expanded store capacity to 50 percent on June 3. Some El Campo area businesses find themselves still coping with the pandemic’s impact, despite reopening.

Nail salons were some of the final businesses reopened in Texas, along with tattoo shops and bars. Pisces Nail Salon in El Campo reopened May 8 after being closed for more than a month. Salon Owner Rocio Folis implemented safety measures such as plexiglass in between stations and requiring customers and employees to wear protective masks.

“Most of our customers have returned,” Folis said. “The only thing is ... we have to wear our masks, and our customers don’t like it. They get mad at us.”

Not working during the closure was tough, Rocio said. She expects the state will require nail salons to close again in the future if the pandemic continues into the fall.

“I guess we’ll have to handle it when it comes,” she said. “I don’t like it since that’s our busiest time of the year, with all of the holidays going on, but it’s for the customers’ safety and our safety.”

El Campo Bowling Center, Manager Abby Freeman used the pandemic closure as an opportunity to fix up the business. After receiving a COVID-19 small business loan, her employees worked to clean and repair the bowling alley.

“The loan helped out, but now we’re on our own again,” Freeman said. “I don’t know if people don’t feel safe or if they don’t have any money or if they don’t know we’re open or if they just don’t want to go bowling. I understand all of those reasons, but we need to get customers coming in pretty soon.”

Hair stylist Paula Kana runs her business, Trends By Paula, inside of a Louise salon, and is currently taking customers exclusively by appointment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Business is still a little slower than usual, but not as bad as she believed it would be after reopening, Kana said.

“We’re very appreciative to be able to work again,” she added. “I caught myself saying, ‘Whew. I can’t wait for the weekend,’ but those words won’t ever come out of my mouth again.”

One positive impact she’s noticed is the increased vigor for sanitation within her industry, according to Kana.

“I now have a new appreciation for my job,” Kana said on the Leader-News Facebook page. “As a hairdresser sanitation has always been very important but now we’ve taken it to a whole other level.”

Some local businesses did not shut down during the pandemic, but were still impacted. Blue Creek Market, which stayed open because they sell food, witnessed about a 20 percent customer decrease during the last few months, according to Head of Marketing Michelle Frankum. Since then, business has improved a bit.

The pandemic impacted daily operations “to an extent, but it’s kind of difficult to completely change,” Frankum said. “I would say yes as far as more cleanliness and keeping your distance, but it still didn’t completely change our business. We’re kind of business as usual besides that.”

“Most of our customers have returned,” Folis said. “The only thing is ... we have to wear our masks, and our customers don’t like it. They get mad at us.”

Not working during the closure was tough, Rocio said. She expects the state will require nail salons to close again in the future if the pandemic continues into the fall.

“I guess we’ll have to handle it when it comes,” she said. “I don’t like it since that’s our busiest time of the year, with all of the holidays going on, but it’s for the customers’ safety and our safety.”

El Campo Bowling Center, Manager Abby Freeman used the pandemic closure as an opportunity to fix up the business. After receiving a COVID-19 small business loan, her employees worked to clean and repair the bowling alley.

“The loan helped out, but now we’re on our own again,” Freeman said. “I don’t know if people don’t feel safe or if they don’t have any money or if they don’t know we’re open or if they just don’t want to go bowling. I understand all of those reasons, but we need to get customers coming in pretty soon.”

Hair stylist Paula Kana runs her business, Trends By Paula, inside of a Louise salon, and is currently taking customers exclusively by appointment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Business is still a little slower than usual, but not as bad as she believed it would be after reopening, Kana said.

“We’re very appreciative to be able to work again,” she added. “I caught myself saying, ‘Whew. I can’t wait for the weekend,’ but those words won’t ever come out of my mouth again.”

One positive impact she’s noticed is the increased vigor for sanitation within her industry, according to Kana.

“I now have a new appreciation for my job,” Kana said on the Leader-News Facebook page. “As a hairdresser sanitation has always been very important but now we’ve taken it to a whole other level.”

Some local businesses did not shut down during the pandemic, but were still impacted. Blue Creek Market, which stayed open because they sell food, witnessed about a 20 percent customer decrease during the last few months, according to Head of Marketing Michelle Frankum. Since then, business has improved a bit.

The pandemic impacted daily operations “to an extent, but it’s kind of difficult to completely change,” Frankum said. “I would say yes as far as more cleanliness and keeping your distance, but it still didn’t completely change our business. We’re kind of business as usual besides that.”

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