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Walking Main Street: The Milton business community hopes for rejuvenation in the coming months

How small businesses feel as the vaccine rollout continues.
Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:12 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 5:54 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On March 25 of last year, Wisconsin declared a lockdown, asking its citizens to go into quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As the one-year anniversary approaches, the state continues to battle the virus, but now, a vaccine is being administered across the state, restrictions are relaxing, and events are returning.

So what does this mean for small businesses in communities like Milton?

For the business community, there is a lot of hope for the summer.

Becky Hillmann, Pene Jenta Boutique’s owner, says she sees more traffic as people are more comfortable going to a store like hers, especially after a second vaccine shot. Buki Jonuzi, the owner of Milton Family Restaurant, sees customers for the first time in a year who are now ready to get out of the house.

“It’s been a struggle this past year and really hard on a lot of their businesses,” said Danielle Strivarius, a member of the Milton Chamber of Commerce. “But I think they are excited and looking forward to this summer.”

Stivarius says there is a definitive shift in the mood of customers and business owners headed into the summer. As Wisconsin passes two million administered vaccines, more people are feeling comfortable enough to get out of the house.

“More traffic is definitely starting to come into our store; people are feeling safer,” said Hillmann. “They have been cooped up for a year, so they are ready to come out and buy some new clothes.”

Hillmann added that lots of her new customers have both doses of the vaccine, which is the main reason they feel safe shopping in-person once again. There is a clear light at the end of the tunnel for the Milton community and a renewed hope that the summer holds a return to some normalcy.

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