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Small town businesses working to adapt to new mask mandate

Many customers still don't want to wear masks
CALHAN MASKS.png
Posted at 11:02 PM, Jul 18, 2020

CALHAN — As Coloradans adapt to the state’s recently enacted mask mandate, small town businesses are facing their own unique challenges.

Davinder Singh can tell you the exact day he started managing Woolsey’s Food Center in Calhan

“April 9th 2007,” Singh said.

Originally from India, Singh and his family were no strangers to the grocery store business.

“We had a store before too.. I sold it… so I’d been looking for something,” he said.

Since his family took over almost 14 years ago, business has been good.

“People come from all over for shopping here,” he said. “They buy the Amish food and meat.”

For years, this store has been the heart and soul of Calhan—even throughout the pandemic.

“We’re a small knit community, and since day one, we’ve all being dealing with it together,” Woolsey’s employee Tamra Herrera said.

Even before Thursday’s mask order, the business had been doing it’s part.

“We have it posted on our door, that we suggest that they wear a mask for their safety as well as ours,” Herrera said.

But it’s a different way of life on the plains.

“We’re not in the big city, where there’s groups of people together,” Herrera said. “People don’t want to wear the mask. And a lot of them won’t.”

The statewide mask mandate went into effect Friday.

“Yesterday has been like every other day,” she said. “You have people wear their mask, you have a lot of them coming in without.”

So many, that turning their business away could hurt the store’s bottom line.

And the town depends on this store.

“I sell everything… groceries, fresh meat, fresh produce,” Singh said.

That’s why he now offers his customers masks.

“Now more people buy the mask,” he said. “They have masks here too you know.”