Although many companies are seeing the effects of COVID-19 on their stores and businesses, small businesses in particular are having a difficult time keeping their doors open.
Rachel Weiner, Missouri State University alumnus, owns The Frosted Fox, an online vegan bakery. Weiner started her business in Sept. 2019 but officially opened in May 2020.
“When a small business owner gets a sale, that’s groceries paid for, debt paid off, rent or something else,” Weiner said. “Big businesses don’t do happy dances when they get sales. I can confidently say any time I’ve gotten an order or one of my friends who also owns a small business gets an order, we all get very excited and we do our happy dances.”
Weiner said her business has been doing “pretty okay,” despite only having been open officially for six months now. Weiner added that she hasn’t been able to attend as many events for her shop as she would like because of COVID-19.
Emily Norris, junior agricultural and business major, is another small business owner. She owns Gatlin’s Co, a western inspired boutique that also sells home decor. Norris’ shop began as an online t-shirt company her freshman year of high school. Two years later, she opened a brick and mortar store and now has two locations, E. Marie’s and Upstairs Marketplace LLC. Both are located in Mountain Grove.
Norris said when COVID-19 first hit, it affected her business. But, she bounced back rather quickly.
“Small businesses are hurting not only on the store front but behind the scenes as well,” Norris said. “We are struggling to get products into our stores and have had to adapt to the shipping time, prices, etc. People need to stop and take a moment to realize these small businesses are the owners’ livelihoods.”
Norris’s businesses can be followed on social media at @shopgatlinsco on Instagram and Gatlin’s Co. on Facebook.
Though many small stores have faced difficulties because of COVID-19, they are using social media to their advantage to help get the word out about their community businesses.
Taylor Gold, Ozark Technical College alumnus, owns Gold Girls Boutique, a store Gold and her mother run together. Gold Girls Boutique has been open for about three months, as of Dec.2020.
Gold said she has always been interested in making a fashionable clothing line but wanted to make it affordable for college students.
Gold’s business opened during the pandemic, so she said having her store online has been the most helpful to her.
“My biggest learning experience has definitely been the social media part,” Gold said. “It’s so amazing how many people you can truly reach. Also just learning how to target an audience and market has been big for me.
“Small businesses need all the support they can get right now and are always appreciative of your business,” Gold said.
You can help support local businesses during COVID-19 by sharing their websites and contact information on your own social media pages, tip graciously and continue to shop local.
Follow Caroline Mund on Twitter, @cemund32.
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