South Omaha still struggling to recover from COVID-19 shutdown – The Omaha News
Omaha News

South Omaha still struggling to recover from COVID-19 shutdown – The Omaha News

By: Josue Garcia, Reporter

OMAHA, Neb. – It’s what the Hispanic community is calling a wake up call. COVID 19 swept South Omaha, impacting local grocery stores, restaurants and cultural ways of life.

While businesses are now open in full swing, they continue to feel the pandemic’s economic hurdle. Development strategist for the Latino Midland Center Lizbeth Hermosillo-Najar, says the virus emphasized needs South Omaha had before the shutdown.

“You see redlining, you see bills—all the money being allocated to West Omaha, and also because a lot of our community is bilingual or predominantly speaks Spanish, it’s also hard for them to get those resources, for them to maintain that stability that they need,” says Hermosillo-Najar.

Jacobo’s grocery store with empty shelves due to supply chain backups due to the pandemic.

An 85 page report by Uno’s Office of Latin American Studies says 27 to 39% of community members say there are no government aid opportunities for their businesses at a city, state or federal level.

Despite 86% of businesses experiencing revenue decreases, owners are optimistic about the future of their storefronts.

Current Santa Fe employee Ruby Mac, says it’s a challenge she expects to overcome when she takes over her dad’s ice cream shop.

Jacobo’s grocery store entrance recommending mask usage between employees and local customers.

“I figure it’d be good to maybe add a second location where I could help them out,” says Macia, the aspiring heir to Santa Fe Creamery. “There could be so many businesses here that can be great. I want to just keep it alive, keep the history in it for years to come.”

There’s hope in the community’s comeback. The city has announced Adelante II, a $94 million dollar project focused not eh Plaza de la Raza.

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