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Businesses reflect on innovations that pulled them through COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 8:57 PM, Mar 15, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When many businesses faced uncertainty due to new restrictions and a new way of life one year ago, some owners turned their panic into perseverance and changed their business model to keep from going under.

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When you wanted a night on the town in Las Vegas, you stopped by Malandra Boutique to pick out an outfit.

But when the Las Vegas Strip turned quiet in 2020, owner Nieve Malandra knew she had to find a solution.

“I really started getting a lot more online sales,” says Malandra. “I was getting orders from everywhere because there weren’t many masks available.”

Nearly a year later, her store continues to thrive online with one of the best-sellers being face masks.

“I’m still ordering, keeping stocked and putting new styles in,” said Malandra.

Masks were just one way we all had to change our daily habits, as we also had to start keeping our distance.

As Nevada shut down, James Swanson's business faced a major hardship as they made the banners for big events that were no longer coming.

Instead, Screaming Images started creating barriers for game tables and slot machines, which a staple now in most casinos.

RELATED: Las Vegas company invents 'gaming barriers' for casinos

“We did a lot of hotels, we did a lot of schools, we did a ton at Allegiant Stadium,” says Swanson.

The barriers were a hit in Nevada and elsewhere.

James originally had to furlough 25 employees and was left with only ten.

Luckily, the production of the potentially life-saving barriers kept operations hopeful and even better, jobs were saved.

“I was able to bring them back in about five weeks, and that was the most important thing to me and made me the happiest,” says Swanson.