Brooks County small businesses feeling hit of pandemic

Posted at 9:13 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 01:07:20-04

FALFURRIAS, Texas — Small business owners who are left in the Falfurrias area say they have taken a hard hit by the pandemic but are fighting to stay open despite the circumstances.

Raul Ramirez, owner of Crosby’s Furniture and Antique Store, says the past eight months have been tough for several small businesses.

“We are in difficult times right now," Ramirez said. "The economy, we are afraid, people are afraid to spend their money and I don’t blame them.”

This small county thrives on their local businesses and their gas stations on U.S. Highway 281 that provide travelers heading north or south a place to stop and freshen up.

If you drive through the downtown area, you can see empty buildings, remnants of previous businesses and several for sale signs, although city officials say many buildings were for sale before the pandemic.

“So many businesses downtown, practically, there's nothing left downtown because of the pandemic,” he said.

Lucy Trevino owns Bellisima Salon in the downtown area. She said her business was greatly affected after the governor shut down barbershops and beauty salons for about three months.

Trevino said she is starting to see more customers returning, but nothing compared to her business before the pandemic.

City administrator Arvin Tucker told KRIS 6 that city’s small businesses are suffering.

“With low traffic, of course, our little businesses have suffered a lot,” Tucker said.

The biggest businesses in the city like gas stations and the local H-E-B seem do be doing well. They don't appear to be suffering like several small business downtown.

The city is doing everything it can to help small businesses survive.

Tucker said certain small businesses have applied for and been approved for state funds from the CARES Act.