EL PASO CO. — Although the country may fell short on meeting President Joe Biden's goal to get 70% of people vaccinated by the 4th of July, Colorado is among the states to reach the benchmark. So how are local businesses feeling about the state's vaccination numbers?
News 5 spoke to Dan Kesterson, the co-owner of Antelope Ridge Mead, about the topic.
"It shows progress that more people are getting vaccinated," said Kesterson. "We're really excited that people are getting vaccinated and that the numbers are going up and hopefully everyone can stay healthy this summer, and this virus can be eradicated or suppressed."
The business opened ten days ago, and it's a craft meadery that serves drinks out of 18 different taps. Kesteron said he started making mead about five years ago, and always wanted to start a business. He also mentioned, despite opening a new business during a pandemic, he's hopeful about the business' future, because of how many people have gotten their COVID-19 vaccine.
"It's been interesting, (business) it kind of comes and goes, but we met a lot of great people and we've had a great time," said Kesterson. "But having more people vaccinated means there's a lot less chance that there will be a shutdown. We really do love having people come in and try our meads, and if they can't come in, they won't be able to try it."
Currently, more than 2.9 million people in Colorado are fully vaccinated, which also means more people are getting comfortable supporting local businesses.
"Just coming into the office today, I saw many many people out and on a Monday that's pretty unusual in Monument," said Terri Hayes, president and CEO of the Tri-Lakes chamber of Commerce. "I think everybody's attitude is joyful right now."
The area has more than 400 small businesses owners, and with the updated COVID-19 vaccine numbers, Hayes says many are excited to run their business like normal again.
"I feel that this is going to give them the confidence to actually make plans on what they want to do with their business, whether its growing whether its changing their products, or adding different things," said Hayes. "People are going to have more confidence knowing that we're 70% vaccinated."
But while the numbers of vaccinated people are going up, Hayes said the words 'shutdown' or 'lockdown' are still on many people's mind.
"I think their hope is that we wont hear the words "lockdown" anymore," said Hayes.
Hayes said there's also been a shift in conversation with business owners recently. Many businesses are still struggling to hire people as the busy tourist season kicks off. Many businesses have also had to shorten their hours or limit the days they're open.