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Bridal, clothing boutiques getting hit hard by coronavirus impacts

Chris Salazar, co-owner of Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique, stands next to a rack of wedding gowns.
Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 21:26:32-04

PUEBLO — Small businesses across Colorado are continuing to lose out on profits due to the impacts of the coronavirus.

One sector that's really getting hit hard by the pandemic - clothing stores. One example: bridal shops. With large gatherings not being allowed right now a lot of couples have decided to postpone their wedding and for bridal gown businesses it's a tough spot to be in.

Chris Salazar, co-owner of Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique, said, "We will do just about anything that we need to do for our community to keep this business running."

It's been a lifelong goal of Salazar's to setup shop for herself.

She said, "We felt that there was a need for something new in Pueblo as far as bridal is concerned."

So three years ago she and her husband, Angelo, opened the boutique which, normally, is fairly busy.

"I'd say a week - 50, 60 people. I can't even count how many people come in the door on Saturdays."

But that's all changed due to the coronavirus. The couple says nowadays there's maybe five people a week coming through the door.

Co-owner Angelo Salazar said, "We're just trying to ride out the storm and come out the other end."

That's what Deb DiNero, owner of Tailored West Pueblo, is also trying to do. She decided to close the store to walk-in traffic until April 1st, but is still offering other options for customers.

She said, "I'm offering...personal shopping experience. If somebody wants to make an appointment and come in by themselves we're more than happy to do that."

However, she shared that so far no one has taken advantage of that and that there haven't been any transactions for the last week and a half.

"When you have absolutely no income coming in the store it's pretty scary when you still have to pay all these bills."

Even so, she says she's trying to stay positive and focus on a big milestone that's coming up.

"We are actually going to be celebrating our one-year anniversary on April 1st...right now I don't know what we're going to do. Maybe we'll do it online."

As for the Salazars, they want the community to know that "we're going to be here through thick and thin and if they need anything please contact us," said Chris. Angelo also said, "We're in it with them so it's not us, it's everybody."

These business owners say they understand it's a tough time for a lot of people right now to be spending extra money on clothing items, but they also understand what a big loss it would be for not only themselves but the Pueblo community if their shops were to close up.