SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After nearly 40 years in Sacramento, a local business owner said she’s close to cracking under pandemic pressure.
The owner of Jodette’s Boutique and Belly Dancing, Jodette Johnson, posted an emotional letter on the window of her dance studio, asking the community to help her make it a few months more. She’s had her shop on K Street for 37 years.READ MORE: Teen Suspected Of DUI In Fatal Highway 99 Crash Overnight Identified As Alan Reyes, 19, Of Roseville
She said in her letter that she hasn’t been able to pay rent in 7 months. Her landlords have been forgiving but can’t be forever. Her main source of income was the belly dancing classes, which stopped once COVID-19 became widespread.
“Thirty to forty women every night belly dancing. I make my money from belly dancing and no one’s coming anymore,” Johnson said.
Like many, Johnson adapted, by expanding her boutique store.
“People, they bring knick-knacks and chairs or the mirror…clothes to keep me going,” she said.
Over the last four decades, Johnson has repeatedly done charity for the homeless.READ MORE: 1 Dead After Triple Shooting In Stockton
In her letter, she asks people to shop at her boutique so that she can keep helping the hungry and teaching her classes.
She hopes people in the community will hear her call. On Monday afternoon, Olivia Seppinni stopped by to make a donation. Her mom used to take Jodette’s belly dancing classes.
“People like her are just a total treasure to the community and I want to make sure that we take care of her like she’s taken care of Sacramento,” Seppinni said.
According to data from Yelp, hundreds of businesses in the Sacramento area have been forced to close during the pandemic.
Even with promises from the Governor of reopening and light at the end of the tunnel, Johnson worries her dancers won’t come back soon enough.
“I’m a little bit worried but we’ll keep it up to god,” she said.MORE NEWS: Teen, 14, Crashes After Leading Police On Chase In Stockton
Even amid the struggle, Jodette’s spirit of giving persists. She says that once she gets her classes back, she hopes to donate the clothing she has for sale to Goodwill.