Boulder City businesses are finding creative ways to keep operating while dealing with directives issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few of their stories:
Ruben’s offers free crafts
Ruben’s Woodcraft and Toys closed its doors at 555 Hotel Plaza six weeks ago, but continues to provide activities for children as it can.
According to co-owners Ruben and Dixie Valdez, during the second week of the closure, they realized children needed something to do when they were at home and that needed to be something that didn’t cost their families anything.
“I feel so much pain for them. It makes me so sad,” Ruben Valdez said.
So, they began leaving the wooden items and toys they make outside for them to take.
“We put them in a bin in the back of our truck at our residence,” and let people know about the items through social media.
The Valdezes said the response was “overwhelming. It has been a truly humbling and emotional experience to see car after car pull up and kids excited to choose something.”
In mid-April they ran out of funds to continue offering the items for free and placed a donation box along with the wooden items.
Through their social media contacts the Valdezes received enough donations to purchase more wood so the items can remain free for children.
In addition to offering the free crafts and toys, they continue to operate by appointment for special events and activities.
“We were blessed to be able to do FaceTime shopping appointments for Easter with contactless delivery to customers’ doorsteps,” Ruben Valdez said.
The Valdezes said they have applied for all small business loans and grants available to ensure they can reopen fully once the restrictions are lifted.
“Our landlord has been amazingly understanding during this unprecedented time,” they said. “We are so grateful to Boulder City and our wonderful customers. Our customers have been our stimulus.”
Candy company shuts doors
Boulder City Candy Co., 1643 Boulder City Parkway, has permanently closed.
“I realized even before the official state closure that things were going to get worse and last a long time,” said owner Lisa Savy.
She said she couldn’t afford to pay rent indefinitely on a nonoperational store and didn’t want to go into debt by taking out a loan.
Any of her remaining toys and gifts from the store will be sold online, she added.
“(It’s) sad to see so many Boulder City businesses shut down.”
Southwest Diner temporarily closes
Southwest Diner, 761 Nevada Way, is closed until further notice, according to owner Cindy Ford.
She said the decision to close was difficult but it was the right thing to do.
“It’s just slow,” she said. “We’re at about 20 percent with takeout. It’s just hard right now to keep a business going.”
Ford said she had been keeping her employees working for as long as possible and they are in a better position now because most had received their stimulus checks.
“We’ll reopen just as soon as we can,” she said.
Before the shutdown, Southwest Diner was also providing some grab and go groceries and paper goods.
Groomer eager to help pet owners
Janette Housley of The Doggie Stylist at 1402-B Boulder City Parkway says she is waiting to hear from Gov. Steve Sisolak about when nonessential businesses can reopen but is eager to get back to work.
“Hopefully, with social distancing and curbside service, pet grooming will be in the first wave of businesses allowed to reopen. I know pet owners are getting antsy,” she said.
If you own a local business, please let us know what you are doing and what you are doing to prepare to reopen. Send your name, a telephone number or email address and a few details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Celia Shortt Goodyear contributed to this report.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.