PUEBLO — "Terrified," is how Dawn Thompson described her reaction when the first COVID-19 lockdown began.
Thompson own Karmic Konnection, a metaphysical supply store in Pueblo.
“I was basically biting my nails just going. OK what’s gunna happen to us? Where do we go from here?”
Many business owners across the country felt the same confusion, which is why Pueblo launched the Business Economic Recovery Team (BERT). The completely volunteer-based committee helps connect businesses to COVID-19 aid resources and produces content that businesses in Pueblo can post on their social media pages to let customers know they are open.
Watch the announcement live:
Did you know that the Pueblo Business Economic Recover Team (BERT) has a Facebook page now? Follow the link below and give them a follow! https://www.facebook.com/PuebloBERTPosted by Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
“I was sitting there going, what’s PPP? What's an idle loan? What is all that? And they would put out all these informative things.”
BERT also helped start supportingpubelo.com, a one-stop-shop for local goods - Think "Pueblo Amazon". Thompson began using the website to continue selling her items while brick-and-mortar stores remained closed. Thompson admits she cried the first time she sold an item on Supporting Pueblo.
“It really, really helped because it gave us that kind of relief of "OK, there is an outlet," said Thompson.
Steven Trujillo, President and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce, is helping spearhead Bert, and says the pandemic has forced businesses in Pueblo to "fast-track" modern services that they might not have considered before.
“There were businesses now doing curbside, who had never done curbside before. There were businesses that had been owned by families for generations, and now had an online store component, had a curbside pickup component.”
Thompson hopped on her own innovative ideas after seeing how well Supporting Pueblo was doing - She launched Karmic Konnection's own online store. Now, Thompson's is shipping orders all the way to other states.
“This has been such a growth spurt for us that, we gotta keep it going... I wouldn’t even have gone to this except for the fact that COVID-19 hit.”
If you are in need of help for your business, visit the resources portion of BERT's website.
BERT will be hosting a public press conference on January 25, 2021 through PEDCO's Facebook page.