By Karen Morfitt

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Savory Spice shop at Southlands in Aurora took on a new owner in January. Chris Grattino says he took over just in time for the pandemic to hit.

“The restrictions are what can we do? How can we do it? There’s no road map to this yet. This is all new to everybody,” he said.

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Successfully navigating those changes is what’s keeping his small business in business, especially during the holiday shopping season.

“Before the pandemic we could have 20 people, 25 people in here. There was lines out the door on Black Friday. Everybody’s buying. It’s great. That’s not us right now,” he said.

Joyce Rocha is the marketing Director for Southlands. She says they’re doing everything they can to keep customers and staff safe while, in turn, supporting their retailers.

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“Having an outdoor center, first of all, really lends itself to safety. People get to social distance. We have signs everywhere throughout to remind people stay six feet apart, wash your hands and wear a mask,” she said.

Using a reservation system, they’re also able to keep the ice rink open with other attractions, and high touch areas are cleaned regularly.

“Obviously this season, this whole year, we have just kind of had to pivot on everything we’ve been doing,” Rocha said.

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Grattino says those changes and help from a small business loan helped keep his doors open to customers, and now those customers are keeping them open for him.

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“Customers are fantastic. They support mom and pop shops and this is a mom and pop shop,” he said.

Karen Morfitt