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NOTO businesses hopeful for more customers as health restrictions ease

NOTO was the recipient of the EnvistaCares Challenge.
NOTO was the recipient of the EnvistaCares Challenge.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 10:10 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The newest health order is a promising sign for small businesses that have been struggling during the pandemic.

When health orders first limited mass gatherings and shut down businesses, small business owners felt the effect.

“For the first half or probably even three fourths of 2020 was almost dead there was no one coming out and it was pretty hard as a business owner to stay open because there was a lack of support,” said owner of Sparks and Steam Devin Morrison.

As vaccines roll out and the County’s COVID-19 Scorecard continues to drop, business is getting back on track. “It has been a tough year and we’re looking forward to the potential. We hope with not only warmer weather and our public health restrictions lessening a little bit that more and more people are able to get out and see what we have to offer,” said Thomas Underwood, Executive Director of the NOTO Arts District.

Friday evening, the streets of the Noto Art District filled with shoppers for Artsconnect First Friday Art Walk.

" Artsconnect First Friday Art Walk is our busiest time of the whole entire month at least for me and I think a lot of businesses, but at least for me its when I make a majority of my sales.”

“For these small businesses having our local population, local visitors, people from the region, people from across the state and the nation all come down to visit us so it really helps out their businesses a lot.”

Devin Morrison says she is grateful for all of the support for local businesses and she hopes it continues after the pandemic as well.

“I think people just pushing to support small businesses definitely helped though because in November and December you could definitely see that people were encouraged to support small a lot more and we ended up getting more sales last year just from those last two months just because I think so many people are supporting small businesses.”

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