How female-owned businesses in the Heights are working together during pandemic

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- More than 20 businesses in the 19th Street Shopping District are owned by women, and they've been working together to remain open during the pandemic.

"We have a lot of fun because we're neighbors. Everybody up and down the street. We check on each other," explained Susan Romeo with Venus Hair.

"We share ideas and policies and fresh takes on how we can best survive in this environment with one another." said Bonnie Reay, the owner of Emerson Rose. "We also send customers to one another as they shop with our stores."

Businesses like Harold's have been through major changes as the pandemic has continued. Owner Alli Jarrett said she's changed restaurant policies several times. For a while, the restaurant transformed into a delivery service.

It's now back open for customers to sit inside, but there are strict social distancing rules in place, and some dining areas have been closed.

"It's probably a miracle that we're still here and we're still battling, away, trying to serve our neighbors and our community," Jarrett said. "We have so many things that are unknown, so many things that are out of control."

These female business owners talk often and hold monthly meetings to share stories and evaluate new policies.

"This didn't happen back in the 60's. Here we are - it's 2020," Romeo added. "By God, there should be a lot more female powered business owners. We root for them. We yell, we clap, we applaud them."
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