AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — It’s been a little over a year since the coronavirus upended all our lives. A pandemic just gathering steam and businesses shut down for weeks, but data shows The Lone Star State’s recovery is ahead of the pack.
“It was scary at first,” said Jan Brosier, Co-Owner of Top Notch Outfitters. “We were closed for about six weeks.”
There were some big revenue losses for small businesses across the nation but now that shots are in arms, doors are opening. New data suggests that Texas small businesses are beginning to recover from the pandemic better than the country as a whole. Eighty-one percent of Texas small businesses are open vs 78-percent, nationally.
“There's like 4,000 businesses in Amarillo,” said Kevin Carter with the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. “If you took that 3% just off of that'd be 120 businesses. That's huge when you magnify that across the whole state of Texas.”
Carter says some businesses had to fight to stay alive last year. For Salt: Spices and Specialties, a pop-up farmers market helped keep product moving.
“We're grateful that everyone eats,” said Miranda Norell, Co-Owner of Salt. ’That's who we cater to, is anyone who eats. For us, it really ended up being a good thing.”
Jan Brosier says they turned to social media, at Top Notch, to promote sales but, “that didn't really go so well. When people can't come in your store and touch and feel things it's kind of harder to sell anything.”
However, things in The Yellow City are looking up.
“Wolflin Village as a whole has really come back to life," said Norell.
“With sales tax, were up nine months in a row,” said Carter. “Out of the top 20 cities in Texas, I don't think that any of them can say that they've had nine months in a row that are up.”
As business returns to normal a new problem arise, inventory.
“Shipping all throughout the world- it just kind of shut down and was put on hold,” said Brosier. “So then it was all backed up.”
Brosier expects the Amarillo area to escape the turbulence that is the pandemic by Autumn, but Kevin says it could be sooner.
ABC 7 News also reached out to Amarillo National Bank who said $129 million have gone out in 1,400 loans to businesses in the area.