They are out of the fires path, yet many businesses near Colorado’s wildfires are still suffering losses because of it. "This has disrupted my life. This has disrupted my business," said shop owner, Emile Dubia. Safety is first, but keeping people away from fire zones is also keeping them from businesses
In La Veta where the Spring Fire is threatening, summer visitors and pass-through traffic to the mountains are important to shops, eateries and real estate offices along the small town’s main street. It brings an infusion of cash that carries them through the year.
There are a few visitors in La Veta, only most are making a quick stop for fire information. Shop owners could justify a hiatus, instead, most are choosing to send a message. "We’re staying and we’re staying open to the community to be of service. Everybody needs coffee and more so now than ever," Paradise Coffee Shop, Owner, Gregg Miller.
Business at Miller’s coffee shop is down. It is same at the Cabins, Patty Burns rents. “We’ve had cancellations.”
There is a counter to some of the losses that is a result of the fire. At the coffee shop it firefighters and law enforcement. "Of course they’re tired, they need more coffee than usual. Sometimes they come back more than once,” said Miller. At the cabins, it makes space for people pushed from their homes by the fire. "We also have evacuees that are staying with us and so that’s a help for everybody," said Burns.
For now, small business owners are making the best of the bad situation. They are concerned, that even when the fire is out the impact will continue. "I just hope that we as a community can reach out to the rest of Colorado and say we are here, we are open, we are ready to entertain you, feed you, just come back," said Dubia.