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Local event canceled due to COVID-19, having impact on businesses

“For that weekend, we probably bring in one-third to half of our income of the year," said one store owner.
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 8:18 PM CDT
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CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) - Caldwell’s annual Kolache Festival is just one of many big events that have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The festival isn’t just about the delicious treats. It also has a big economic impact for Caldwell.

“For that weekend, we probably bring in one-third to half of our income of the year for this particular business, so it’s a big hit,” said Christine Campbell, owner of Jake’s Bakery.

Thousands come from all over the Brazos Valley to Caldwell’s downtown area.

Caldwell council member Nancy Stewart also owns a shop downtown. She says everyone is going to see the financial impact.

“That’s the single largest sale day in retail and restaurants in our downtown areas,” said Stewart.

Festival chair Janice Easter said they had plans in place to scale back and keep everyone safe, but the uncertainty of COVID-19 could mean a last-minute cancellation, resulting in more money lost.

Campbell says she'd rather know in advance than last minute.

“So much time, effort and finances go into planning months in advance, so it’s not something businesses can recover from quickly if it’s called off last minute,” said Campbell.

Local leaders say they are working on a plan to draw customers to the businesses that depend on the festival foot traffic.

“I hope we’ll do something, even if it’s something local to help businesses out and to celebrate our Czech heritage,” said Campbell.

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