LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's a tough time to be a small business owner. The pandemic has put so many into survival mode. 13 Action News Anchor Tricia Kean spoke with a Las Vegas area small business about how they're working to turn things around while still finding ways to help their community.
"The pandemic hit and it was a gut check! Because sales dropped off," said Felicia Parker, co-founder and senior vice president of Any Occasion Baskets.
The small Las Vegas business is feeling the pinch. Felicia says COVID-19 has devastated her gift-giving company.
"I would say almost 90% of our business disappeared," said Felicia.
She says she was forced to rethink her approach.
Felicia began by asking herself why she started the business in the first place. It turns out, the answer was also a solution to her problem.
"We want to provide one-of-a-kind gifts," she said. "We want to provide great opportunities for people to express gratitude and we want to give back to our communities."
SERVE OUR COMMUNITY
Felicia decided to make gift baskets for healthcare workers on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.
"We say we serve our communities. Let's do it in a time where it really needs to be done," said Felicia.
Then she started calling clients about donating the baskets to hospital workers.
"Any Occasion baskets reached out to us and said hey, would you like to buy some baskets? And of course, we said yes," said Keith Thompson with Large Vision Property Management.
Keith says his company didn't hesitate.
"Because helping people is a priority in life. Let's face facts here. If we can't help other people, we're really in deep trouble," said Keith.
"Oh gosh! It was so awesome the reaction to these baskets. Every time they'd go be delivered to the staff they would say, oh my gosh this is for us! This is awesome," said Felicia.
Felicia says she's earned back about 50% of the business she lost during the pandemic.
She's even added an extra employee to her small staff to keep up with growing demand.
NO JOB TOO SMALL
"They came back and said hey, we would like to order some more baskets. It's the holiday season. So let's go ahead and thank our teams or our clients. So it's been a great response," said Felicia.
She says the experience is like starting her business all over again, but she's learned not to take any job for granted.
"We are focusing now on smaller gifts for virtual meetings. Which was not the norm before 2020... We are in the business to serve and I don't care if it's one basket, small basket or an order of 1,500 [or] 2,000," said Felicia.
Felicia says during this rebuilding process, she's taken on a mentality of perseverance and wants other businesses to do the same.
"Stay encouraged. Because as a small business, we know there are challenges... There are so many people ready to rally around small businesses. We just have to hit the ground running and maybe change our approach," said Felicia.