Colusa County advanced to the orange, moderately restrictive tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy system last week, allowing more businesses to reopen and increased capacities and operations for those already open.
However, the shift in tiers has not brought the stream of customers that local business owners were hoping to welcome back under the loosened guidelines.
Aurora Ramirez, owner of Soothing Hands Salon and Spa and Soothing Hands Wellness Center in Colusa, said many of her customers are still very cautious about the pandemic and business has been slow since the county was allowed to loosen restrictions.
“I only operate one day a week right now,” said Ramirez.
According to Ramirez, she and several other business owners in Colusa are cautiously optimistic about the loosening of restrictions as well, because when that first happened last year it did not last long.
“We didn’t even get 24 hours notice to close up again, and all the money we had put into reopening was wasted,” said Ramirez.
During the shutdown, Ramirez said she was forced to pay the rent for both of her shops as well as the utilities and her own mortgage using her savings account.
“It’s been really hard but I have been figuring it out,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez said she does not think things will get back to normal anytime soon, even as restrictions loosen, but she is glad that she lives in such a supportive community.
“The community has been very good with providing support to local businesses during this time and my clients have been amazing,” said Ramirez. “When I reach out they are so happy to hear my voice again.”
Ramirez said she will continue to take baby steps moving forward, but is hoping that the community will be able to move past the pandemic in the safest way possible.
“I hope that we continue to reopen,” said Ramirez. “We are a small town and we are all just trying to hang in there.”
Noah Enns, social media manager for Farmers Brewing Co., LLC, said the brewery has been navigating the pandemic as best they can.
At this time, there is indoor and outdoor patio seating available at the brewery located outside of Princeton, and the large facility can accommodate spaced out tables to maintain six feet of distance between parties.
According to Enns, recent laws that do not require attendees to purchase food in order to be served alcohol during a visit to the brewery have helped increase business.
“If trends continue and restrictions lessen, we plan on having events,” said Enns.
Enns said a lot has been happening at the brewery lately, with the release of two new beers in March and distribution now reaching the Bay Area.
“We have more beer releases in the coming future and may be looking to sign with another distributor later this year,” said Enns.