COLORADO SPRINGS — If only there was a tutorial on how to run a business during a pandemic.
"We knew nothing about grant money, or PPE money at that point, we just realized there was no way that we could stay open," said Russ Ware, owner of Wild Goose and Good Neighbors.
What started out a strong year for Ware's two businesses, quickly changed.
"Having to close your business for any reason is a blow, you would never expect to do that," said Ware.
Ware was forced to put all of his eggs in a basket and temporarily close Wild Goose.
However, it ended up giving him more flexibility to focus on Good Neighbors.
"We had all these extra things and we wanted to get them in the hands of people, and all of a sudden it became a little grocery store and we continued to do that," said Ware.
A place where locals could pick up fresh food.
Something Ware says has added to the community feel.
"There is really no way we would have made it through this year with all the folks who came," said Ware.
Good Neighbors isn't the only "new" local market.
Bread and Butter a Neighborhood Market came to town just four months ago.
"It is one day at a time. It is wild and crazy. Opening a new business is never easy," said Aubrey Day, co-owner of Bread & Butter.
It's not just a market though, Day says it's a place where the community can join together.
"You meet your neighbors at the grocery store. I think we are really looking forward to the day we can take our masks off, and hug, and shop and have conversation in here," said Day.
Day shares how thankful she is to have a strong community that has welcomed her business into the neighborhood.
"They are teaching us everyday what they want out of a market, what they need out of a market, and we are able to respond to that really well," said Day.