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Odessa business women band together to survive pandemic

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Four very different businesses banded together to get through the hardest times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A fitness studio, cosmetic shop, art studio and health food store may not seem like they have much in common, but in Odessa, those businesses have owners that have down what they can to take they saying “Be a good neighbor” to heart.

Wanda’s Health Food, Curves, Merl Norman and Lil’ Cactus Flower all took a hit when the pandemic started. That’s when the owners decided the best way to get through tough times was together.

“Other business owners, women in particular, are struggling and just to know that we are not alone, it helps, I don’t know why but it helps, we are sharing the burden,” said Diana Bustamante, the owner of Curves in Odessa.

The four women set up referral programs, sponsorships and donated various products to be used in gift bags, all to help one another stay afloat during challenging times.

“Anytime you can help the neighbor boost her database or her customer list, everything is grateful,” said Carolyn Cronk, the owner of Merl Norman.

Mary Delgado, the owner of Lil’ Catcus Flower Art Studio, says that Joanna Hatley, the owner of Wanda’s Health Food Shop, pitched the idea.

“I have another job that I’m doing for her for curtains, then I’m also doing her door signage, so she has helped me in that way because she could’ve gone with any other company, but she wanted to help me out,” said Delgado.

Hatley says it’s been tough running a small business during this time, but the West Texas community is pitching in to help out in any way they can.

She says it bonded them on a deeper level.

“It brought friendships, you know, it brought us together with an understanding of small business. We are all small businesses,” said Hatley.

The four women all spoke on the importance of community in helping their businesses survive. They say the support they received from each other made all the difference in the world.

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