BOISE, Idaho — Over the past year, the Boise area has seen businesses close their doors because of the pandemic.
According to the Downtown Boise Association (DBA), between January of 2020 and March of 2021 the downtown area saw 27 businesses close. Of those closures, 16 reported COVID-19 as their reason for closing.
The DBA says though we lost several businesses during that time period, data suggests we gained more businesses than we lost.
"All in all looking at that 15 month period, we were net positive 32 businesses in downtown Boise," explained Jennifer Hensley, the executive director of the DBA.
One of those new businesses is Hayes Company Boutique. The shop opened its doors in June of 2020, right in the midst of the pandemic.
"It was kind of one of those things, do I take this risk knowing there's a pandemic, and not know how long it's going to last or do I let it pass," boutique owner Janie Hayes remembered asking herself.
Hayes was born and raised in Boise, and after studying under fashion designers in California she was excited to bring her talents home.
"I love fashion, I love clothes. I love seeing my ideas come to life," Hayes said.
She says it was an uncertain start, but the response from the community quickly helped the business grow strong.
"It's been such a welcoming experience from the day we got here, and as we grow and get our regulars and are able to do events with people, we've noticed a great reaction from the community," Hayes smiled.
Data from earlier this year shows the pandemic disproportionately impacted women-owned businesses. That's why one of Hayes' priorities, as she's running her business, is women supporting women.
"We try to incorporate as much as we can saving the planet and supporting other small owners, especially women-owned brands," Hayes explained.
If you'd like to check out Hayes Boutique, you can pop by their shop on Main st. in downtown Boise, or find them online!