CISCO TEXAS (KTAB/KRBC)- Restrictions, mandates, and cutbacks have not been good for business, but there’s a price to operating during a pandemic. That is, unless you operate in a small town.
Small business owners in cisco have noticed an increase in foot traffic since about mid march. when the pandemic began many of them had to close down or do pickup orders only and it took some time to get used to. But now that they and the public have had time to adjust to the new normal. “We’ve had some great weekends and then we’ve had some down weekends but the taproom here has come back to almost normal from a distribution perspective our sales are still down as restaurants and bars are still limited” said Jason Mahon, Co-Owner of the Red Gap Brewery in Cisco.
Some of that traffic comes from locals who are staying in town instead of making trips to Abilene or fort worth, and all the money they spend goes right back into the community. Joy Hedges of Slowpoke Farms Market said they had seen as much as a 25% increase this year mainly from dine in customers.
Though the increase at her farm to table market and restaurant may have more to do with health than convenience. “I think people are rethinking their health I know people you read about who ‘oh I was healthy and I got it’ and then they learn they were diabetic or they had high blood pressure. they had all these other issues that were hidden and now corona has made them aware of that maybe I wasn’t as healthy” said Hedges. So for the newly health conscious rural resident, her locally sourced food provides peace of mind.
But it isn’t just the locals bringing in the bucks for cisco. Out of towners come from more urban areas in search of a safe place to daytrip. According to Justin Jaworski the executive director of the Cisco Development Corporation “The beauty in small towns is you don’t see quite the rigorous restrictions, you can have a little bit more laid back environment and feel things are kind of normal before COVID and you don’t have the pressures of large volumes of people coming in and out” adding “social distancing is not so much of an issue in a deer blind or when you’re having a good time out on the lake.” Two activities Cisco is well Suited for.
So whether its the lack of crowds or the abundance of things to do, Cisco has more than one small town success story to tell.