Since reopening her hair salon after the shutdown earlier this year, Sharita Payton says she’s been able to double her clientele.

“I try to be as hopeful as possible,” said Payton, who owns The Loft Hair Studio in Medford, Massachusetts.

Still, it’s a struggle amid the pandemic, with new restrictions popping up routinely.

“There’s always something,” she said.

Now, the state is offering up grants of up to $75,000 as businesses grapple with evolving requirements.

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“We’re definitely going to apply,” she said. “Anything extra is going to be beneficial and helpful for not just myself and my family, but my team, as well. The majority of us here are mothers.”

At Boston TeePee Party, owner Crystal Murphy says it’s not surprising there is not a ton of interest right now in her event planning business.

“Everyone’s trying to stay healthy and safe, but for me, that’s a huge impact on my business,” said Murphy. “I’m not able to operate how I normally would.”

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For a company that specializes in everything from baby showers to slumber parties, a pandemic isn’t exactly part of the business plan.

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“Wow, it’s had a huge impact,” she said.

She’ll look into applying for some of the new grant money, but she worries about the competition.

“A lot of people can easily get discouraged from applying for these grants because we know that there’s so many others who are out here who need the money just like we do,” said Murphy.

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