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Tehachapi's Grand Reopening ceremony

City of Tehachapi

On June 15, more than 50 local Tehachapi small businesses and nonprofits participated in the Grand Reopening of our Tehachapi (and California) economy in Downtown Tehachapi.

In total there were roughly 150 people in attendance to represent small businesses in the greater Tehachapi area (city and unincorporated county).

Each business received a ribbon of their choice either red, white or blue in color to represent America. The businesses lined up for a photo with their staff and everyone gathered as a group and cut their ribbons at the same time symbolizing the reopening of their businesses.

"This is the spirit of Tehachapi, everyone here has helped each other get through this as a community," said Mayor Phil Smith.

"We appreciate what every business and nonprofit has endured over the past 453 days of restrictions put in place by the State of California. Our goal as a city was to get out of everyone's way and work with our small businesses so they could survive. Today is a celebration that these restrictions have been lifted and the reopening of our economy can begin," said Greg Garrett Tehachapi City Manager.

Since March 19, 2020 the City of Tehachapi has worked with small local businesses with water and utility bill deferred payments, adding umbrellas to outside seating for dinning, by creating the Small Business Loyalty Gift Card Program, supplied social media and communication support and eased bureaucracy.

The idea for the Grand Reopening of Tehachapi small businesses came through a conversation with a local nonprofit on the city's podcast TehachaPod.

"We anticipated maybe a dozen businesses would attend a symbolic ribbon cutting. The participation was overwhelmingly strong and positive with more than 50 local Tehachapi businesses taking part today," said Key Budge, community engagement specialist.

Representatives from Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Assemblyman Vince Fong and Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivener's offices were in attendance along with Tehachapi Mayor Phil Smith, Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Davies, Council Members Susan Wiggins and Joan Pogan-Cord.