Julie Vician’s Natick-based business, Fairbanks Fancy Goods, was humming along.

It had a steady stream of clients who paid Vician to make alterations on suits and dresses worn on special occasions, like proms and bar mitzvahs.

“Then COVID happened,” Vician said. Proms and many special events were canceled, which reduced demand for Vician’s services.

Vician’s experience mirrors those of thousands of business owners in MetroWest who felt the sharp economic sting of the coronavirus pandemic.

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