Two local businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

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The Covid-19 impacted countless businesses across the globe and here in Arizona. Producer Alexia Stanbridge and videographer Rudy Romo look at how two have been affected.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is located in the middle of downtown Phoenix. When the pandemic hit, the garden closed for six weeks but opened in May with limited hours.

“There were a lot of people that came through at that time, I think it had a lot to do with not a lot of places (being) open so people wanted to get out even though it was really hot,” said Celina Coleman, Executive Director of the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix.

In the Fall of 2020, the garden extended its hours and ended the year almost doubling its 2019 profits.

“It provided that kind of escape for people looking to escape such a difficult year,” Corman said.

Unlike the Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix restricted the opening of many museums, one of them being the Pueblo Grande Museum.  This museum reopened in July 2021.

“It was really a good time for us to open so that, slowly, people can come back in and we wouldn’t be overrun as we figured out how to work with the limitations that we have because of Covid,” said Nicole Armstrong-Best, Museum Administrator of Pueblo Grande Museum.

The pandemic led to many changes such as barriers around the front desk, sanitizing stations, mask requirements and limited capacity. A small theater area was also transformed into an exhibit called “Rights and Resilience,” celebrating the 19th Amendment and the rights of Native American Women.

Both venues provided opportunities that they took advantage of for the better, and they did not go to waste.

Celina Coleman, Executive Director of the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
Nicole Armstrong-Best, Museum Administrator of Pueblo Grande Museum

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