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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

COVID-19 causes small businesses to work through the holiday

Small businesses trying to bounce back after lost income due to coronavirus pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

While many are out honoring Memorial Day, there are some small businesses that have chosen to remain open. It's all an effort to make up for the financial loss during the pandemic shutdown. Most have been social distancing for months now, and that has caused many businesses to struggle. That is why some just simply can't afford to be closed, even if it is a holiday.

There is nothing wrong with a little spring cleaning, but you typically would not see it on a holiday like Memorial Day.  

"We really had to. The first couple weeks in April, everybody cancelled," said Doug Nelson, Nelson Carpet Cleaning owner.

For small business owners like Nelson, everything slowed down.  As a result, he worked through the holiday to make up for money loss.

"There's no ceremonies to go to or no parades to attend since all those are cancelled, so might as well work and try to catch up. Every appointment counts," said Nelson. 

Even those appointments cancelled during the start of the pandemic matter.  

"Some customers that were calling to cancel offered to prepay for their appointments. They still wanted it done, but just at a later date for safety," said Nelson. "That was a really generous offer. That really helped us get through the bills on the first month of April." 

It also helped the company avoid layoffs. With the city reopening in phases, business is picking back up.

"We always drive separate vans. We make it a strict point not to intermingle gear between myself and other employees. We do have masks to wear," said Nelson. "We can talk through the whole appointment on the phone. We really don't have to have any contact with the customer in order to perform our service."

It is a different, yet safer approach. 

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"Our whole business is to help your home be healthier and more comfortable," said Nelson. "It's definitely not what we would expect for like the spring cleaning season compared to like the past five years. It's down, but again, I'm just grateful to be open."

While many small businesses are glad to gradually get back to normal, they are also happy to reconnect with people throughout the Mid-South.