DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — It’s been a hard couple of months for Preston Royal Village retailers recovering from the damage left behind by an EF3 tornado. However, a lot of progress has been made and tonight’s “Sip and Shop” event gave them an opportunity to celebrate.

“This shopping center is one of the most wonderful shopping centers in Dallas,” European Wax Center employee Brittany Boehlefeld said. “The guests of Preston Royal Village are very loyal guests. We’re just really excited to bring them back and continue the rebuilding process”

Retailers said seeing smiling faces listening to live music, sampling free food and drinks and shopping shows just how far they’ve come.

In late October, many businesses were forced to temporarily close — and to this day, some still can’t reopen due to extensive damage.

“When you look across the street at the center over there and they’re not even in business anymore and they won’t be for another year, we think about them every day,” Ken’s Man’s Shop owner Kory Helfman said.

“For the community to come together is very important in times like this when there’s so many people affected,” Roam employee Sharon Bridges said.

The City of Dallas is still trying to calculate the damages suffered to public infrastructure.

Governor Abbott is now asking FEMA to extend the deadline to file a major disaster declaration by another 30 days, until Jan. 19. FEMA would reimburse cities like Dallas 75% of its uninsured losses to public facilities and infrastructure, if the area qualifies.

“It will be better without a doubt,” Helfman said. “This center and this community, Preston Hollow, amazing mix of people and we’re always supporting each other.”

Erin Jones