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Local businesses hit hard by surge in COVID-19 cases

From supply chain shortages to lack of staff, business are having to readjust since the hard hit of the omicron variant.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The latest surge of COVID-19 cases has not been good for local business owners.

Dozens of businesses had to adjust hours or close all together within the past year. Fuentes Café General Manager Jamie Perez said the rise in COVID cases has not made things easier.

Perez said business was a bit slow and COVID testing lines have been longer than the lines at the restaurant, but it’s not uncommon for business to be slow after the holiday season.

“We’re really just trying to focus on staying clean and just being as understanding and conscious of the recent COVID situation that’s going on. While we care most about what’s going on within these walls, we try to stay aware of what’s going on around us to be informed,” Perez said.

The National Restaurant Association reported approximately 14% of all United States restaurants have permanently shut down during the pandemic. However, Perez and his team are sure things will pick back up in the coming weeks.

Heavenly Shoes Boutique owner Mary Perkins said she can’t afford staff and works in the store alone. She’s also been dealing with supply chain shortages to get her shoes shipped from overseas.

Still, Perkins has faith in God and is grateful her business has remained open for 10 years. 

"I'm hoping that the virus will die and business can get back to normal. Not just for me, but there are a lot of business owners besides me dealing with so many issues. We wish the best for every business. It's hard but praise God, I didn't get out of business. Thank you Lord," Perkins said. 

As people mask up, get tested and vaccinated, business owners are still trying to fight through this nearly two-year long pandemic and be stable again.