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Sun Prairie Main Street business recovery impacted by pandemic

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SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- After the natural gas explosion that killed Sun Prairie Fire Captain Cory Barr, Main Street businesses in Sun Prairie needed to recover from the damage

While some got back on their feet quickly, others still weren't back to 100 percent, even after two years.

Then the pandemic shut everything down.

In a new building after the explosion destroyed their previous shop, Renee Von Klopp at Razor Sharp Screen Printing says she and her husband were looking on the bright side.

"We just wanted to still be in touch with everyone, having people come by, seeing our windows, stopping by to just come in and say hello," she said.

But the pandemic has changed all of that.

"Our business is definitely down, a lot of our clients aren't coming through with orders like we normally see during the summer time. This summer has been rough and we've heard it from a lot of our neighbors too," Von Klopp said.

At Glass Nickle Pizza however, with no dining area like before, the temporary building they've been in prepared them for dealing with the pandemic.

"I consider us lucky because we're kind of set up as a carryout and delivery only place to kind of be in a position to not have to change a whole lot," owner Adam Bougie said.

Bougie says it did push back construction on their new building, which is now slated to start in October.

"It had made it difficult to work with the city, because of the fact that a lot of the meetings that needed to happen, we weren't really set up to have anymore," he said.

While both business owners say it is painful to see the community struggle again, they're still happy to be a part of it.

"It's hard, but I know we're pretty tough people so I know we'll get through it somehow," Von Klopp said.

I don't know, I guess I just feel privileged to be a part of this community and be a part of that," Bougie said.

While some businesses on Main Street haven't been able to get back to the way things were before the blast, they say Sun Prairie Strong still applies today and they'll make it through this pandemic.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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