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Local, Small Businesses Seeing Steady Stream Of Shoppers Despite Concerns Over Omicron Variant

MONTROSE (CBSLA) - Businesses of all size have taken a hit during the pandemic, especially small stores and restaurants across the southland who are now hoping for a wealth of Christmas customers.

The small business owners who spoke to CBSLA said they've been worried about what the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 would do to their sales, but as it turns out, a lot of stores have seen a steady stream of shoppers.

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Christina and Matthew Snow, owners of the Christmas store, Holiday House, in Montrose. Dec. 21, 2021. (CBSLA)

Christina and Matthew Snow, who opened a Christmas store called Holiday House in Montrose, said they've seen many more people shopping for one of a kind Christmas treasures this year.

"You cannot get this on Amazon. This hand beaded," Christina, who held up one of the ornaments sold in the store, said.

The Snows said they've had more customers in the store than they actually expected.

"We've been doing really well this season, more than ever before," Christina said.

With news of the Omicron variant spreading across California, a revival of the statewide indoor mask mandate and events being cancelled and postponed left and right, many small business owners on tiny "Main Streets" were worried that their sales would slow right before their most lucrative time of the year.

"Compared to last year, when we were first going through this, everybody was experiencing this, we really thought this was going to be a challenge," Matthew Snow said.

However, on the seven blocks of mom-and-pop centric Montrose, retail stores and restaurants were busy, with people supporting their local businesses.

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Dec. 21, 2021. (CBSLA)

"We're still pretty busy and I think people are just...they want to get out still and do shopping in person," Dalynn Sandine, owner of the clothing and gift store Nyx Marie, said.

Sandine opened her store two months into the pandemic. She said that despite all the setbacks, drawing customers in, thankfully, hasn't been a struggle this Christmas.

"The community's great. Like, everyone that comes in wants to support local and it's definitely been a better December than last year," Sandine said.

In fact, the only struggle the business owners said they've been having are the occasional customers who are still upset about having to wear a mask inside the stores while they shop.


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