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New Lincoln Park businesses discuss challenges in opening during COVID-19 pandemic

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: June 26, 2020 06:30 PM

Trying to open a business is enough of a challenge as it is, but imagine doing this in the middle of a health pandemic. That's what some Lincoln Park business owners say has been tricky to accomplish these past several months.

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The Lincoln Park Craft District is home to many local artists and unique businesses. This is why Beth Petrowske and Bree Thompson chose the area to open their stores. Although, this came at a time when the health pandemic forced businesses to close down, pushing back their efforts to open in the spring.

"It has been a challenge for us because we have not been able to find any local contractors who are able to help us with the build out. With the quarantining and everything it was very difficult for us but we were able to do it," said Petrowske, the owner of Boathouse Treats & Treasures.

Petrowske said her family helped her with the store during this time. She is in the final phases of opening the store. The shop is filled with vintage items and Minnesota-made merchandise.

"We know the area really needs some retail and we feel like we're going to fill that niche, and we have a lot of variety," said Petrowske.

She worries about how the businesses will do this summer, but is hopeful and has been getting lots of support from other business owners.

"Everybody works together in this neighborhood and that's a joy for me to be among a group of people like that business community. We've had many people peeking in the windows and taking a look and asking when we're going to be open and so we know there's some anticipation building and we're just anxious to serve those people," said Petrowske.

Just a few blocks down, Bree Thompson opened Mivikin Shop + Design in June. She describes it as a curated vintage and modern items shop filled with locally handcrafted goods. The shop is also home to her graphic design studio. Thompson said she also had to push her original opening date and applied for business loans.

"Opening a business comes with enough challenges and then to add on the safety challenges that came with pandemic and just knowing what the right decisions were so that people felt safe shopping," Thompson.

Thompson said despite these unexpected road blocks, the shop has been welcomed well by the community so far.

"It's been really awesome to see people come in and just show their supports buy things obviously is the number one way they're supporting me," said Thompson.

Thompson has hand sanitizer throughout the store and said customers have been respecting the rules she has in the store to wear a face mask. She said she has been getting advice from the business owners around her.

"It's been really encouraging to connect with owners of other businesses that are already doing this or have done this for a while or maybe we're all just starting out together but connecting and sharing ideas and working through things together to problem solve and get a safe experience for everyone," said Thompson.

Boathouse Treats and Treasures will open in mid July. Hours will be Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Mivikin Shop + Design is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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