These downtown Overland Park businesses have survived the pandemic so far — but challenges linger

Downtown Overland Park could have looked vacant this summer.

When the global COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread shutdowns in March 2020, a handful of small businesses were at risk of staying permanently closed. But a loyal, supportive customer base paired with federal COVID-19 relief programs like the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan have kept those businesses afloat, some business owners say.

Now, with nearly half of Johnson County residents fully vaccinated and a countywide mask mandate lifted, downtown Overland Park is starting to see life again.

Those were some of the takeaways from a visit on Friday by U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of the Third Congressional District, who came to four businesses in downtown Overland Park.

Davids stopped by popcorn shop Popculture; nonprofit retailer Ten Thousand Villages; pie bakery The Upper Crust; and The General Store + Co., to, as her office put it, get an idea of the challenges and circumstances local…

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