NEVADA CITY, Calif. — Teresa Mann, Moriah Blue and Rebecca Quattrin are three of many business owners in Nevada City who are still recovering from the Pacific Gas & Electric power shutoffs that took place in October. They said this holiday season is more important than ever to keep downtown Nevada City's retail centers afloat.
"It feels doubly important and we are really feeling doubly grateful for everyone who comes in to shop because we recognize that it’s been hard on them too," said Teresa Mann, the owner of J.J. Jackson's.
Mann has been the owner of J.J. Jackson's for 14 years. The boutique is stocked with all kinds of gifts and goods-- travel accessories, greeting cards, scarves, Christmas decor and more. During the power shutoffs, her shop was without power for seven days.
"That was a real strain on our shop and especially at a time of the year when we're really building up our inventory for Christmas," Mann said.
Moriah Blue is the co-owner of Two Little Birds, a children's boutique that opened in May this year. She also lost sales because of the outages.
"It was really hard," Blue said. "I had a few sales and that was because people follow me on Instagram and wanted some things, so I came and met them."
Blue is also aware that the toll the power outages took on her local customers might affect her sales further.
"For some people I know, it's really affecting their holiday spending budget," Blue said. "So I imagine that's going to spread out and affect all of us."
Rebecca Quattrin, owner of Mikella Boutique and Consignment, leased her space in October, a day before the first power shutoff. While being without power only delayed her opening, as a new store owner, she anticipates a rocky year ahead if they continue.
"It's been very sad for the local businesses here and I think about next year, when I'll be open for a year and if this is the new norm, I'm not in a space where I can hook up a generator," Quattrin said. "So if the power's out, I'm just going to lose business."
Looking forward to Small Business Saturday and more holiday traffic through their stores, all three women are optimistic. In Teresa Mann's 14 years of being a store owner, she's seen bleak times before.
"I'm grateful to have been in business for long enough and to have survived the 2008 recession, so that definitely taught us how to get lean and mean really quickly," Mann said. "We're also really resourceful up here. We make good of what's challenging for a lot of people."
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