Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Story Of Small Business In A COVID-19 World

Caleb Flachman 6/03/2020

SPAN Enterprises has not escaped the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our team has been working remotely since mid-March in an effort to keep everyone safe. However, operations have continued pretty much as normal. We have even found new ways to increase the effectiveness of our work! Our team has adapted to their new working environment, and we’ve been able to make the most of every opportunity. At the time of writing, South Carolina is in the process of reopening after quarantine.

SPAN Enterprises has been fortunate during this time, but like so many businesses, it has not been easy. We know small businesses everywhere are struggling, and we reached out to business owners in our area to see how they are fairing and how we can help them.

Jennifer Panther, Owner of ElisaGrayce Boutique here in Rock Hill and a PayWow client, spoke candidly with us. Here’s her insightful update on running her small business during COVID-19.

“My name is Jennifer Panther and I own ElisaGrayce Boutique. We have been in business for 3 years and carry a variety of items from jewelry and clothing to handcrafted pieces made by our locals. COVID-19 forced us to close for several weeks, but thankfully, we are an online business as well. Many customers purchased items from our website and participated in our curbside pickup. We also shipped out a large number of purchases all over the states. During this time, we have seen a huge increase in our online sales and very thankful we had this service available for our customers.

In regards to our employees, they all work here part-time and do it for their fun money. They are ready to come back when the storefront reopens to the public and business picks up. Thankfully they have all been understanding and this has not caused a financial hardship on them.

We are in the process of reopening to the public but doing it in phases. At this time, we are providing shopping times by appointment only. Our customers love this and do not have to worry about having to wait to get in the door due to the small number allowed in at a time. We do plan to reopen our doors next week but will reduce our normal hours. We will continue to offer private shopping appointments before and after our new operating hours for those who do not feel comfortable coming in with others.

Right now, small businesses are struggling and it is so hard to see my business neighbors in such a financial strain. ElisaGrayce has been blessed to have such loyal customers, not a large amount of business debt, and reasonable overhead. I fear some of my business friends will not be able to recover from COVID-19 and reopen. This is very disappointing as small businesses are important and it is a treasure to find things that are local.”

Thank you, Jennifer, for your honesty and insight.

It’s more important than ever to continue supporting local businesses. If you can safely do so, please consider shopping online with locally-owned retail stores and ordering take-out from local restaurants. 

You can shop at ElisaGrayce Boutique here:
If we can continue to work together, we can hold on to our local treasures.

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