Erie County has been in the green phase for a week, with many small businesses being allowed to fully reopen. 

But has it improved business for small shops locally? 
 
For World of Music, the answer is yes. 
 
“We have had an overwhelming demand” says Katie Jones, School Director. “We also have had many back orders as well”. 
 
Jones says a large part of these back orders is due to large companies being closed during the pandemic and being unable to provide supplies. 
 
Michael Marino, Sales, is excited for new musicians to come into the store. 
 
“ Depending on what your instrument of choice is, there's an age bracket that typically goes with that. We're seeing that  there's a desire to learn an instrument right now and it's really refreshing”, said Marino, who has been a musician for the past 20 years. 
 
Elsewhere, at Sammi's Heartfelt Treasures on West 9th, business has been better, but not consistent.
 
“Business was great in May.

 

June was a little slow but things started to pick up as we went green”, says Michele Schening, Owner.
 
Michele says 60% of business has been due to homemade mask sales during the pandemic. She has also been able to start a new program that will assist individuals with intellectual disabilities.
 
“It's been a real struggle for them mentally not being able to see anyone, not having anyone to talk to, just feeling like their world is about this small”, Schening said. 
 
Michele believes her business will be able to continue, but should Erie go back into the yellow or red phase at any point, she is concerned this may not be the case for her and other small businesses in Erie. 
 
This story was supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.