Relaxed COVID-19 precautions allow small businesses to flourish

Local News

MISSION, Texas (KVEO) — Texas continues to return to a pre-pandemic sense of normalcy as COVID-19 cases drop and mask requirements for public land are stripped away.

Data from the CDC and the New York Times shows Texas has averaged fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases a day for the past week, the first time Texas has had those few cases since June 2020.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to go down, food trucks at the Mission Food Park have noticed an uptick in customers.

“A lot of us are seeing a lot more people, a lot more business I should say,” said Rafael Henriquez, a food truck employee. “I guess everybody feels more comfortable since the whole COVID thing is slowing down. Everybody is getting vaccinated so that’s a good thing.”

After having a year dominated by headlines of pandemic and disease, people are eager to move on. And they’re doing that by helping local businesses.

“It’s like everything is going back to normal. It’s all people have wanted actually this whole time because being in quarantine, it’s like people are isolated away from each other. It’s good to see being around everybody, being around people again,” said Henriquez.

For one local business owner, TW Pocta, the latest mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on top of the new executive order from Governor Abbott, is a second chance to live the dream the pandemic stole from him.

Pocta was all set to start his new business, a Knockerball franchise, when the pandemic started and put a stop to it.

“It was devastating. I mean I was so excited,” said Pocta.

Pocta told KVEO he had invested time and resources into getting his franchise up and running.

“Literally two days before they announced the shutdown and the quarantines, that’s when I was going to start my business here. So two days in, all of a sudden, it’s a no-go,” he said.

Pocta said that his business did not operate at all during the pandemic because Knockerball requires people to be in close contact with each other to play, and he didn’t feel it was safe.

He had finally started back up a few days after the new CDC mask guidelines were announced.

“Oh it feels great because first I’m going to hopefully start making back my initial investment and start getting my business out into the community,” said Pocta.

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