GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
Studies show fish tanks lower stress, but COVID cranks it up for your local eatery. Lisa Bondurant is the owner of No Coast Sushi, and Lisa says, “We were down probably 70% to 80% in sales. So, we were down 25% to 30%, and you can’t pay bills on that.”
But, they qualified 100% for the Payment Protection Program which kept the employees working, the sushi serving, and even the little fishies swimming, and now the second round of relief is up for grabs. “We do qualify for the second round. I haven’t participated yet because we are in a good place at this point, and I don’t want to take the money away from someone else who really needs it,” Bondurant said.
Big box businesses took the first round of PPP from a lot of the little guys, but here in Mesa County, the little guys get big help from the EMT’s for our local economy. “We are so thankful because if they hadn’t partnered and done that with the 5 Star Variance, we wouldn’t be able to meet our budget,” said Bondurant.
Good help is hard to find, and the 5 Star Variance has helped 599 other businesses like this one, but this business also has the greatest help of all; Loyal employees. Master Chef, Josh Roberts says, “I’ve been here for 13 and a half years. I started when we opened, I helped build the restaurant.”
At No Coast Sushi, no coast, no problem. Bondurant says, “We fly fish fresh from Hawaii. As long as you have Fed Ex, you can have fresh fish in 12 hours, it’s amazing!
And, it was no problem staying open during the pandemic either. “We’re very blessed by the community. They took care of us,” Roberts said.
And, if you don’t like raw fish, or you’re a vegan, then sushi isn’t a problem either because it might not be what you may think. Roberts says, “Sushi just means seasoned rice. So, it doesn’t mean raw fish. You know, we have all sorts of rolls that are cooked.”
The Economic First Responders Group is taking care of business with teamwork, and it takes a village. “People in town really want to keep businesses open. So, I know they’re really trying, and we appreciate it very much,” said Bondurant.