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‘A nail in our coffin’: Colorado small businesses fear another COVID-19 shutdown

Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 21:05:52-05

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — David and Kim Purdy are literally the D&K in D&K Jewelers. They’ve owned and operated their store in Wheat Ridge for 20 years, but fear if another shutdown comes in Colorado due to COVID-19, they may not make it to 21 years.

“This is our baby. We put our hearts and souls and everything we have into it,” Kim told Denver7.

As a small business, the Purdy family has been struggling through the pandemic.

“This year has been like a fight to survive,” Kim said. “Basically we’re making enough to scrape by.”

With their savings and PPP loan already tapped, the store is operating at half of their normal sales. The owners are hoping the holidays might save them.

“For us, 40% of our sales happen in the moth of December,” she said.

That hope is paralleled by the spikes in Colorado’s COVID-19 count.

“The virus is the most prevalent than it’s ever been before in our state and in our entire nation right now,” Gov. Jared Polis said earlier this week.

Counties across the state have been implementing more restrictions, and the possibility of another stay-at-home order is still out there.

"That could be a nail in our coffin,” Kim Purdy said.

“It would. Half the stores that are open now won’t make it,” David Purdy said.

Earlier in the week, several local health departments called on the state to take more restrictive actions. As part of their response, the Governor’s office wrote in a statement: “Local jurisdictions have always had the ability to enact more restrictive policies than those outlined in the dial and we need to trust that they will do that to protect the health and safety of their residents." The letter went on to say, "however, if there comes a time where we could lose lives due to lack of medical capacity, the Governor will not hesitate to take statewide action."

Back at the jewelry store, the Purdys are hoping that things don’t come to that.

“We’re just doing everything we can to stay afloat. At this point, we’re trying to survive,” Kim said.