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New Tempe campaign uses voices of small business owners to ask the community to stay safe

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Posted at 12:49 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 20:24:49-05

A healthy community is the only way Arizona can have a healthy economy.

That is the message of a new campaign from the city of Tempe. They are highlighting restaurants and small businesses who have been struggling through the pandemic and using their own voices to ask patrons to take safety precautions, as we see COVID-19 numbers climb.

One of those businesses taking part in the new video campaign on the city's website is Rosita's Fine Mexican Food in Tempe.

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They have a legacy in the city and restaurant-goers can likely taste it in the dishes served up near University Drive and Hardy Drive.

"Our kitchen managers have all been here for over 30 years," said General Manager Charles Keeme. "They were all trained by my grandmother. So, it's just that... history. The consistency."

This is a family business started by Keeme's grandmother when she came from Mexico and started it all from scratch. Keeme told ABC15 that Rosita's Fine Mexican Food is now the oldest restaurant to be founded in Tempe.

"It's more than just a business," said Keeme. "It's our family history."

Staff at the restaurant were excited about the chance to participate in the city's new initiative.

"I think coming from the peers and the community itself and not much from the government... I mean, nobody likes to be told what to do," said Assistant Manager Paulina Valencia. "But if we can imagine how we can all get together again and how this might be small steps... they might help the greater good, then I hope that something might click for some people who haven't been on board yet."

Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage with the city of Tempe said they had to get creative to come up with ways to encourage safety while still supporting small businesses.

"I mean, they really are the heartbeat, especially here at like Rosita's," Councilmember Arredondo-Savage said. "They've been around for almost 60 years. How can somebody not be a part of your community that's been here for 60 years?"

Whether you feel comfortable dining in or just grabbing take-out, small businesses want a healthy community so they can survive and serve.

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To watch some of the videos featuring Tempe local businesses, click here.