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Business owners in North Omaha adjust to the new way of business post-Covid

Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 23:27:21-04
  • North Omaha business district, LeFlore's Fashions, Styles of Evolution, Ital Vital living.
  • Kay LeFlore, Donald McPherson and Imani Murray share what business is like in the North Omaha business district, post-Covid.
  • In 2020 Black-owned businesses struggled to keep their business open. Research by UC Santa Cruz found nationwide Black-owned businesses plunged at 41% compared to 17% white-owned businesses.


The North Omaha Business District… was once a gathering place for the community…there were Jazz clubs and thriving businesses.

I'm Melissa Wright, your North Omaha neighborhood reporter where now the businesses left in the area post pandemic are navigating the new way of living.

Donald McPherson, the owner of clothing store Styles of Evolution has been open 18 years. He says much of his business comes from people shopping for weddings, vacations, proms and homecomings.

"White parties especially. We don't see that anymore…that's something that's tailored off," said McPherson.

Styles of Evolution sales an array of clothes, ranging from colorful suits to even women's clothes and accessories. But what pairs best with his shop is people.

"Everything kind of eased it's way with the covid. The covid killed a lot of traffic… a lot of folks went under,"said McPherson.

Kay LeFlore the owner of Le Flores Fashions has been in North Omaha for 20 years. Le Flores Fashion specializes in men's clothing.

"We only do one thing… we do men. So, we don't have to split ourself off doing kids.. or ladies…or girls… we only do men, and as long as we do that…we'll have steady stream of customers," said LeFlore

LeFlore says the pandemic was a challenge for everyone..but post-Covid changed his business.

"Covid gave my customers…a break from buying for a couple years. But when covid was over…they came back with vengeance and they got their wardrobes back up to par,"

In 2020…Black-owned businesses struggled to keep their business open. Research by UC Santa Cruz…found nationwide Black owned businesses plunged at 41-percent.

Ital Vital Living owned by Imani Murray opened a brick and mortar — June 2020.

"In the start of Covid we really just focused on the website…but also what's so convenient about this that its really small but we were able to do drive-thru," said Murray.

Business was good and covid safe when Ital Vital Living first opened.

"Its slow… just because times are hard… people are still recovering but also just the timing of everything…prices are going up, inflation," said Murray.

In 2023… the city announced improvement plans for the North Omaha 24th street corridor. Business owners say with those improvements... they hope brings 24th back to life.

In the business district, I'm Melissa wright your north Omaha neighborhood reporter.