Amid event cancellations, COVID-19 pandemic hitting businesses hard in Tempe

In a year full of hits, things have been especially hard in Tempe, as the East Valley has seen a number of big events, like the Ironman race, Arizona State University's first home game, and the Tempe Festival of the Arts, cancelled.

Sara Rascon, who owns Carolyn’s Classics, says the arts festival getting cancelled was like a gut punch.

"At least we have a couple of weeks of notice, but it’s still heartbreaking for people because we work so hard," said Rascon.

Rascon is a small business owner whose passion is more potent than the flavors of her homemade jams and jellies. She and other small businesses and artists relied on one of the city’s biggest festivals for an end-of-the-year boost.

"A lot of people know us and they come over. They get boxes of jams for the Christmas gifts," said Rascon.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods says the cancellations are tough decision that have to be made, as case numbers rise again throughout the state.

"It’s tough from a financial standpoint and budget standpoint, and it’s tough on our emotions," said Woods. "But at the end of the day, we have to lean on the public health data and do what we know is right, based on what is coming back."

Now, it’s just hope: Hope for a vaccine, hope for a return to events in 2021, and hope that customers continue to show support virtually.

"I think we must have faith, not hope on looking forward to better times," said Rascon. "Following instructions, and just trying to keep on working hard and having a positive attitude."

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)