RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — COVID-19 put a lot of financial stress on local businesses in 2020. Now that a new year is here, Elevate Rapid City is hoping to help those businesses come back strong.
While the Staple and Spice Market was able to stay open throughout the pandemic, owner, Tammy Yanders has had some concerns.
“You never know what’s in store for anybody, so you just always have to be aware of that. And just think about what your community needs are, do some shifting and changing, and seeing what works for everybody else,” Yanders said.
Like many businesses, Yanders feared what was going to happen. However, things are looking up for 2021.
“We started some new things. We started doing fresh produce baskets, we do those once a week,” Yanders said.
Yanders is also opening up a section of her store as a learning center for customers to find out more about what they’re buying.
President of Elevate Rapid City, Tom Johnson, says there have been two kinds of businesses during the crisis.
“Those who have gotten through the pandemic and even increased sales and employee counts and revenues. And those that have struggled in the hospitality sector to no fault of their own really,” Johnson said.
Elevate Rapid City launched several programs for small businesses during the thick of the pandemic last year.
“This year we are going to continue to see what happens and we are not afraid to come back into the market with more emergency funds if we start to see that it lasts a long time. But we’ve launched several programs really really new. The Downtown Facade Loan Program is one for downtown businesses if they want to renovate their facade,” Johnson said.
Johnson says one way you can help these businesses is by shopping local.
Elevate Rapid City is launching several other grant programs for different kinds of businesses.