April 24, 2021

Small business owners in Wichita working together to stay open

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Wichita business owners are coming together to try and make sure…

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Wichita business owners are coming together to try and make sure they don’t have to close their doors again. The group is called Shop Safe Wichita and they are trying to make sure the city does not go back in restrictions in any way. The organizer says the pledge is about keeping their stores clean, and encouraging people to shop local.

Dawn Keene owns Ideal Feet in Wichita. Like small business owners around the country she says closures from the pandemic almost cost her her business.

“I was watching TV one evening and saw the national wellness seal and there’s been some commercials on it and did some research on it and thought as a business owner this would be a great thing to be part of,” said Keene.

Keene quickly realized the costs were too high as a small business owner. So she came up with the idea to partner with other local owners to create a pledge.

“You can see going into some of the other big box stores and stuff we don’t always see they are sanitizing, we don’t know, they might be. But we are ensuring that we are doing all of that.”

Keene explained it has nothing to do with masks.

“So that is really on an individual basis as far as the customers are concerned, as well as the business owners. This is not about masking, it is not pro mask, against masking, that is not what this is about. This whole thing is about letting people know we are continuing to keep them safe.”

There is a 25 dollar fee every three months that goes towards website maintenance and upkeep.

Another sponsor of the pledge, Kelly Taylor, says they’re trying to keep people comfortable shopping local.

“Obviously as a business owner we are wanting to support the local businesses. But as a consumer, even myself, as a consumer, I want to make sure that businesses are taking the necessary steps and following the right protocols to make sure we are safe and can continue to keep things open,” said Taylor.

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