Albuquerque businesswoman finds silver lining in ART | KOB 4

Albuquerque businesswoman finds silver lining in ART

Tessa Mentus
December 09, 2018 10:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The notorious ART project has been labeled a lemon by the public and by city officials but for one businesswoman there is a silver lining to the stagnant project.


Bessie Romero, the owner of Bessie’s Arts and Crafts on Central, said she didn’t know if her business would survive the ART construction.

“They didn't want to come in, they would just drive by, just, no, we'll go to JoAnn's, we'll go to Hobby Lobby, we'll go to Walmart,” Romero said.

Romero took out a low-interest business loan available to business owners hit by the ART construction but it wasn’t enough to keep the business afloat.

“Nine months ago I was giving up.  I was even giving up on life because you know this is, I’m not here for me, I’m here for my community,” Romero said.

But, the business survived regardless of ART thanks to the community.

Loyal customers and friends made donations, volunteered time and did whatever they could to keep Bessie’s up and running.

“ART made me see people for what they were really for,” Romero said. “That’s the best part when they come in and they said ‘we're not giving up on you, we know you're going to fight.’”

Every year, except last year, Romero throws a holiday party and anyone is welcome. This year the party has two purposes, to celebrate the holidays and to thank the community for rallying behind her.

“We have to care for one another,” Romero said. “You come in as a customer and you leave as a friend.”


Tessa Mentus

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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