Business owners reflect on the 2-year survival of the COVID-19 pandemic
Business owners reflect on the 2-year survival of the COVID-19 pandemic

Business owners reflect on the 2-year survival of the COVID-19 pandemic

BAKERSFIELD, (KGET) – Just 12 months ago, the sound of music and happy bar guests was not heard. The real spawning cats were the only ones hanging outside Guthrie’s Alley Cat.

“So good to be back, take a closer look at the normal,” said Guthrie’s owner, Trisha Reed Fike. “Everyone at least in our area, in our city, has been so hungry for their normal lives.”

One of the hungry and thirsty for a drink over the red doors at Alley Cat is Gary Fraser.

“We’ve never had anything like this,” Fraser said. “Then we’re here two years later.”

Two years after the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in Kern, business owners in the small alley of Downtown reflect on the abrupt and desperate measures the pandemic forced them to take to stay afloat.

Down the alley at ‘Two Goats and The Goose’, Shawna prepares to open for the day. Reducing the number of working days and hours was how Haddad Byers thinks she was able to stay afloat over the past year.

“It was a huge force,” Haddad Byers said. “We need to figure out a way to function safely for everyone’s comfort and stability.”

The responsibility fell not only on business owners but also on their loyal customers.

“I was about getting the vaccine,” Fraser said. “I was about moving on with our lives, I can not live in my house, I need to be around people.”

State unemployment data show that the local hospitality and leisure industry got more than 4,000 jobs in January.

Reed Fike agrees that their reopening is a good sign, but they ‘need to be cautiously optimistic going forward’ as new challenges arise.

“I love roller coasters, but this was a very uncomfortable roller coaster ride,” Haddad Byers said. “The only thing that’s really kicking us in the pants right now is inflation.”

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