DENVER (KDVR) — The Small Business Administration reports issuing nearly $5 million in business loans within the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, many local businesses are facing new challenges during the holiday shopping season, especially the Cherry Creek shopping district, which includes a high number of boutique retail shops and restaurants.
In 35 years of nurturing the family business “Mariel,” Denise Snyder never thought she would see the day when she would lose 80% of her customers, which occurred due to the pandemic.
She tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers it is difficult and ineffective to launch online buying because the merchandise is unique.
Cheaper massed produced items are better candidates for online promotion and sales and can be kept is stock in stores and in warehouses.
“We need to keep the doors open and if they’d all just support us a little bit we’d be fine” she said.
Snyder is reaching out to loyal and new customers via delivery service and video chats. Many stores and restaurants are offering gift cards as a way to boost immediate revenue.
Businesses that offer in-person services are getting creative as well.
Adding online product sales and the Small Business Administrations Paycheck Protection Program helped keep style, beauty and skin care consultant Michael Moore’s studio “Moore For Life” afloat, but the business must do well this holiday season.
“I have to say this has been my hardest month during the whole pandemic” Moore said.
Moore has initiated an aggressive marketing and social media campaign. His products are also available for purchase online.
“We had to rethink our business right off the bat,” Moore said.
Business owners say surviving the pandemic will be a result of successful customer incentives and maintaining a safe environment. One of Moore’s clients tells FOX31, “that one-on-one you can’t get over the phone or on the computer.”
Snyder emphasizes that Cherry Creek is a safe place to shop for the holidays and says she puts safety first when it comes to her customers.
“We all wear masks, we all social distance” she said.
Many business owners hope shoppers will consider the power they have to ensure the health of the local economy while benefitting from the unique and personal service only a local business can provide.
“Amazon will be around, Target will be around, Walmart will be around, Moore For Life might not be around,” Moore said.
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