by Michael Ramos
Around spring break, South Plains College closed their doors and moved to online when the coronavirus threatened the students.
This not only was a struggle for the students who went to SPC, but also for the owners of small businesses and stores in Levelland. The students were away from the campus for four and a half months, while some businesses struggled to stay afloat. Only essential businesses were able to stay open, which took a toll on the local economy.
“We began seeing effects in the economy in the fourth quarter of last year,” said Levelland City Manager Erik Rejino, “and, we were dealing with that when the pandemic and COVID-19 hit. So we were dealing with the oil downturn and COVID-19. So it certainly made for some difficult times.”
With everything going on in the world, no one was really sure if things would ever go back to the way that they used to be. However, everybody has been working together and trying hard, as Levelland is slowly getting back to where it used to be.
When the pandemic hit the town, almost everything was shut down or limited for the public safety. Nikki Wisdom, manager of the local Dickey’s restaurant, said, “We took a hit when the pandemic started, especially with the college closing down.”
When the college first closed down, many businesses lost a lot of business without the students. However, with the college opening back up, business is slowly going back to what it was.
For opening back up, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued Statewide guidelines in order for a business to re-open. The governor has moved to a Statewide model course of plan, rather than a local model, according to Rejino.
“Everyone is doing everything in their power to make sure that businesses can reopen safely,” said Rejino. “With everyone working together, we’re slowly getting there. With everyone affected by the pandemic, we have all grown together, and are united. With us all working together, businesses are slowly opening back up, one by one. Levelland may not be where it was a couple of months ago, but with everyone working together, it will slowly get better.