Kitty cantina Owners
Tori and Justyn Cozza

It’s hard to imagine celebrating the end of a year quite so joyously as we’ll celebrate the end of 2020. For so many of us, it’s been the most challenging year of our lives. Between home-schooling our kids, navigating the state’s unemployment system for the first time, conducting business over the internet instead of in person and just being stuck in neutral emotionally, unable to spend time with friends and family, it’s been a rough one.

Tough times, though, are also when humanity is at its best, supporting each other through unexpected trials no matter how difficult our own individual lives might be.

That’s certainly been evident as Spokane County has plodded through the COVID-19 epidemic so far. Through school closures and restrictions on gatherings, with restaurants and museums opening and closing then opening again (albeit with restrictions), and entertainment venues shuttered ever since March, the people of the Inland Northwest have stepped up in a big way to keep our community as whole as possible until we get through this thing.

We’ve never eaten so much take-out, watched so many streaming concerts, or shopped local and online at the same time. And these Back to Business guides have been there every step of the way, helping you keep up with the latest ways our restaurants, cultural outlets and retail stores have adapted to serve Spokane County.

This is the final issue of the Back to Business series, a local marketing effort developed by the Inlander and several local institutions. All the partners involved in Back to Business throughout its seven issues recognize the importance of our local businesses to our community’s identity and quality of life.

Inside this issue, we cover a bit of everything, from dining and shopping to culture. You’ll read about how home cooks have sharpened their skills, how bike shops have ridden through the pandemic and how our music venues have adapted to a lack of live concerts. And that’s just the beginning.

While the coronavirus pandemic is stretching into the new year, there’s hope on the horizon as the vaccine starts to find its way across the country. If we can stay safe, stay distanced and stay engaged with our local businesses for a few more months, we’ll be back to “normal” soon.

Just imagine the close, unmasked community celebration we have in store when that happens!

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