“We can recover if we all pull together”: Small businesses adjust amidst pandemic

Some businesses have looked for federal and state support to stay afloat

SUMTER, S.C. (WOLO) —Several small businesses have had to close their doors to customers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the past two weeks, Governor Henry McMaster (R-SC) has ordered most non-essential businesses to close their doors in order to limit the virus’s spread.

Some have had to resort to online sales, while others might struggle to re-open if the pandemic winds down.

As a result of non-essential businesses having to close their doors, Kim Hatchell, the Sales Manager at  Galloway and Moseley in Sumter, has had to bring the glimmer of her gems to a digital display.

As the days go by, she says the thing she misses most is seeing people in the store admiring her jewels.

“We love our customers, we miss seeing them. Going digital is fine and we’ll reach them however we can but we love seeing our customers,” Hatchell said.

Hatchell says she has not had to lay off any employees, but other small businesses across the state have not been so lucky.

Some say they are barely getting by, possibly considering closing their doors for good.

Without customers coming through their doors, some businesses are looking to federal and state support to stay afloat.

“There has been revenue lost by business during this time that will never be made up,” said Ted Pitts, the President and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

Pitts says several businesses across the state have expressed interest in proposed federal payroll protection programs.

“It is an opportunity for small businesses to actually get revenue and the resources needed to stay open and operating,” Pitts said.

Hatchell is one among many small business managers hoping for a quick turn-around, but she says she looks forward to the day she can open her doors again to customers.

“What I would personally look forward to is getting to hug a customer again, but it’s going to happen immediately. We’re there for the community and we need the community to be there for us, and that’s every small business. We can recover if we all pull together,” Hatchell said.

For more business resources related to COVID-19, click here.

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