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Ask Arik Ruiz ’12

What advice would you give to business owners looking to adapt to obstacles like COVID-19?

"One of the main pieces of advice I would give is to make sure you ask for support from the community and try not to panic. Now, more than ever, you have to have an open mind about the different options that can help your business. I had to close my restaurant in March 2020. During this time, I started to take orders every week for different dishes and delivered them directly to my clients’ homes. I started Facebook and Instagram pages that helped me get more customers. Many people didn’t know my restaurant existed until they saw it on the internet. Finally, make sure you learn about support and programs the government might offer for small businesses. Don’t ever give up on your goals, and remember, when one door closes, another one will open.”

Ruiz is the owner of Alma’s Kitchen, which opened in spring 2021 inside of NMSU’s Frenger Food Court. Alma’s Kitchen offers traditional Mexican food made from the recipes of Ruiz’ mother, Alma. It was originally located inside of St. Genevieve’s Catholic Church in Las Cruces.

Compiled by Adriana M. Chávez ’19