Small businesses in Elmwood Village are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic

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(WIVB) – While many businesses have reopened after being closed for months, people are seeing some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small business owners in the Elmwood Village.

Some places in the area had to close their doors for good.

“Unfortunately we’ve seen some businesses close down,” Buffalo Common Council member Joel Feroleto said. “I know it’s been difficult for a lot of businesses to make any money- a lot of them were forced to be closed for months at a time.”

Other businesses are opening their doors for the first time.

Iron Tail Tavern, 802 Elmwood Ave., is now open for business, along with at least two coffee shops and a plant shop.

“People look around and they think they see all of the empty storefronts but then they don’t notice that’s new and this is new,” said Therese Deutschlander, owner of Thin Ice gift shop and president of the Elmwood Village Association.

Deutschlander says that constantly adapting will be a way of life for everyone for a while.

“Everything is day to day and shifting so much,” she added. “The retail business depends on what the restaurants can do and what the restaurants can do that has a factor in if we get shut down entirely.”

In an effort to help owners adapt, the City of Buffalo has opened up applications for businesses to expand their outdoor space.

“We’ve seen some businesses put in applications to close the street like we’ve seen on Chippewa,” Feroleto said. “We’ve seen some take over the parking spaces in front of their businesses, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach- we’re leaving it up to the businesses.

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