MEDFORD, Ore---A slow prom season due to the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a hit on local small businesses.
It is at least taking a toll on Alteration Center in Medford.
"The first month that we would normally do prom, we took a 70 percent cut as to what normally we would bring in," said owner Pamela Dambacher.
February through May is when prom dress alteration season slowly begins to ramp up, getting busier and busier as the big day approaches.
With so many schools in the local area, prom falls on various nights throughout the season. For Dambacher, it is not just the money that is nice to have.
"Prom is like Christmas time to us financially. Plus, it is a time of joy. We love to see the girls in their beautiful dresses and make them fit them perfectly," said Dambacher.
While schools are shut down, schools have had to find creative ways to move on with some of the students' favorite traditions. Some have had to cancel events like prom altogether.
During this difficult time, Alteration Center has started making facemasks. The first mask is given out free for anyone that needs one. That is an effort to do good for the community. After that, every mask a person takes costs five dollars to help pay the bills. So far, Alteration Center has provided around 4,000 masks for Southern Oregon.
Even while Alteration Center faces financial impact, Dambacher feels terribly for the boys and girls that don't get to have what many consider to be the most memorable night of their high school experience.
"It is something that you look forward to as a girl," said Dambacher. "You know, as a girl, you get to be a princess for the night."
Some relief may be coming from both directions. South and North Medford High Schools will host a virtual prom night on Saturday, May 16. The theme of the joint prom will be "A Night Under the Same Sky." The prom will be held on a virtual platform through the app Twitch.
Perhaps some girls will need dresses altered, and they will get to feel like a princess for a night, even through these difficult times.