Evergreen business on verge of closing stays open, with help from the community

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EVERGREEN, Colo. (KDVR) — A longtime Evergreen business was on the verge of going out of business, until the community stepped in to help.

After being closed for two months, it was a nice change of pace inside Evergreen’s Go Paint!

“I have people texting, calling, e-maling, ordering online—it’s kind of crazy,” said owner Karen Belmont.

But, it didn’t initially pick up when Go Paint! reopened for to-go orders last weekend.

“I thought, ‘wow, this isn’t good.’ I was ready to close it up,” said Belmont.

Go Paint! has been in business for almost 20 years.

“I’ve lived here for 25-30 years. This place has always been a part of the community,” said customer Carla Keitlen, who stopped in on Saturday.

The last two months have been devastating for Belmont.

“[I] didn’t qualify for a PPP loan. We got like, $1000, which doesn’t even pay the rent. [We] still had to pay the rent,” Belmont told Fox31.

Customers encouraged her to make one last effort to save the pottery store, so she reached out on Facebook for help.

The response was immediate, happening overnight.

“I think we got 30 orders online on Thursday. We’re just now completing filling those, we’ve had so many,” said Belmont.

“I feel like George Bailey, from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ They all came to his rescue,” she added.

Some customers added generous donations to their purchase, like Keitlen, who stopped by to buy a bowl.

“They cost $10,” Keitlen told Fox31.

When asked how much extra she paid for the bowl, she broke into laughter.

“A little more—you’re going to get me in trouble with my husband. A lot more than that.”

The surge in orders has bought Belmont some time.

She’ll be able to stay open through May, at the very least.

“Possibly even into July, if it keeps going like it is. I just figure if we can keep going and maintain, make the rent, make all the payments— then we can hang in there,” said Belmont.

Go Paint! says they’ll likely rely on those to-go orders, even after they’re allowed to re-open—because social distancing guidelines will significantly restrict how many people can come in and paint at one time.

For more information on Belmont’s business, click her.

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