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COVID-19 - Impact on Small Businesses & A List of Small Business Grants

Featured March 25

2 months ago 87 Christopher Street, NYC

With Wendy

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It’s hard to think about tomorrow.  In a matter of 18 days, we experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows.  Sharing my thoughts on being a small business owner during this time.

Honestly I just don’t know what to say.  All of our lives have been turned upside down by the current events.  I can’t sleep, my anxiety is through the roof, and I get stomach pains every time I eat.  What keeps me up at night is Artemis.  I just want to share with you my perspective as a small business owner during this time.

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This was the last set of shop outfits I shared before we closed the store.  We celebrated Artemis’s one year anniversary a few weeks ago (in the brick-and-mortar world, this is a milestone).  We signed a 5-year lease renewal on March 1st.  We hired our first team member on March 11th.  We temporarily closed our shop on March 18th.  In 18 days, we went from the highest highs to the lowest lows.

As a small business owner, we’re taught to innovate, put our heads down, and put the shoulders to the wheel.  And we did.  Once the shutdown hit, we started a courier service, curbside menu and pickups, appointments, phone consultations, and medical deliveries (we actually service a lot of clients who need CBD in conjunction with medical cannabis for medical conditions).  We also continue to build out interactive exhibits for when we do open again.  With all of this being said, we’re uncertain of the future.  Words can not explain the fear I feel.  We’re completely self-funded, we work everyday at the shop, and we watched her grow.  Now, it just feels very dark.

My heart aches for all those impacted by this pandemic (I’m hoping to be part of a Medical Relief Effort and will update you on that soon).  For some, the result of this is boredom, for others it’s quality time spent with loved ones.  For some, they get to cook with their loved ones, for others they’re recalling the last meal they had with loved ones who’s passed.  For some businesses this is a time to pause, for other small businesses this is one step closer to the reality that their dreams are shattering.  The truth is… We’ll-get-through-this doesn’t apply to everyone.  They’re projecting that over 50% of small businesses won’t make it.  I’m not saying all of this to cause fear.  I’m sharing this to acknowledge the despair, heartache, anxiety, and heaviness that some people and small businesses are going through right now.

With the hardships ahead, I’m going to continue to search for more grants and will continue to update the list below.  If you are a small business or know of one that is struggling, please feel free to share this post and this list with them.

SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

Grants.gov – Grants search hub.

Amber Grants for Women – Up to $25,000, small business grants for women.

San Francisco COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund (SF ONLY) – It allows impacted small business owners to access up to $10,000 for employee salaries and rent.

NYC Employee Retention Grant Program (NYC ONLY) – Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40% of their payroll for two months.  Businesses can access up to $27,000.

Office of Economic Development Fund (SEATTLE ONLY) – Grants will be awarded in an amount up to $10,000.  Grant money may only be used for the operating expenses.

Opportunity Fund – Supporting small business owner whose business has been impacted by COVID-19.  Contact them directly for more information.

James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund – They are currently building out this fund.  Stay tuned for more information. 

Facebook Small Business Grants Program – Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate.  More details to come.

Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund – This fund is intended to help support neighborhood small businesses in Seattle (South Lake Union and Regrade neighborhoods) and Bellevue. 

Nellie Mae Education Foundation (AAPI COMMUNITIES ONLY) – Grant request must respond to a time-sensitive, unanticipated event or urgent challenge or need in communities.  This grant is not intended to support ongoing programs and projects.  Up to $15,000.

Ending this post with some joy… can you share your favorite coffee shop, boba shop, clothing store, tailor, speciality store, nail salon, sushi spot, etc?  And why are these places special to you?  Were they where you went on your first date?  Had your first kiss?  Had a super memorable customer service experience?  I’d love to hear your story, and moreover, how these shops and businesses have brought joy to your life.

Thank you so much for reading!  Wishing you and your family all the best in health.  Please stay safe and please take care.

Thank you so much for reading!
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