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Gig Harbor Fly Shop owner Blake Merwin talks Zen, running a small business in a pandemic, and his No. 1 priority.

Running a small business always presents challenges.
Running one during a global pandemic? Those challenges multiply quickly. 

“It’s affected every single area of our business, for sure,” said Blake Merwin, the owner of Gig Harbor Fly Shop. “From staffing to how we take reservations to everything. Just everything.” 

Merwin watched his business change more than he ever thought possible since the COVID-19 pandemic began. From “figuring out how to keep the lights on” to a boom in outdoor recreation sales, he’s seen a lot. 

Only one thing remained constant, Merwin said: The desire to keep his customers safe. 

“I think the thing we’re all on the same page about is that all of us want what’s best for our customers,” Merwin said. “We are really concerned that our customers are safe and healthy. And we want people to get out and enjoy fly fishing. We want to do our part to make sure that happens.”