CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The past five- to- six months have been rough on businesses, but perhaps none have been hurt more than locally owned businesses and vendors.
Many of these vendors rely on markets and pop-up shops to sell their merchandise. COCID-19 shut many of those markets down.
"No people, no revenue, no events," Made in Corpus Christi owner Nikki Riojas. "All of those things really hit small-business owners very bad."
For some, the loss of the markets was a loss of a massive source of income.
"You're missing that extra income," said Taco Gear clothing brand owner Gerald Flores. "When extra income is extra income, you start to depend on it more."
Before the novel-coronavirus crisis struck, business was good. Now there is fear and uncertainty. However, this weekend, an event returns right in time to help sixteen local vendors make back some of the money they might have lost during this pandemic.
Loca for Local is a pop-up market that welcomes creators from the Coastal Bend.
It was started in 2016 by Elena Flores, a business owner herself. The goal is to showcase the creativity and products of the locals in the Corpus Christi area.
The massive pop-up shop used to be held at the BUS bar Downtown, but like everything else, COVID-19 has forced it to adapt.
"We just changed the game," she said. "We're excited that this year we are going to offer it curbside."
The sale started at 10 a.m. Thursday, and will last until Friday night at 10 p.m. The ability to support local is just a click away.
"We have a website Locaforlocal.com," Elena Flores added. "You can sign up now and register your email to have access."
Once "inside," shoppers can choose from 16 local stores ranging from bakeries to pottery. Some stores are even selling exclusive merchandise just for the event.
For the locally owned businesses, this is their shot to rebound.
"Even though this is going to be different, I am still very excited because I know it is going to be good," said a confident Gerald Flores. "This event is going to help a lot with getting that income that we have been missing."
Elena Flores put it perfectly: It will be different. One thing is for sure, it will still be "loca".
"It is still going to have the magic of loca," she said. "It is still going to have the magic of the vendors and the creators."
For those who do purchase items, the curbside pick-up will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Hoegemeyer's BBQ.