Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners how their company responded to last week’s ice and snow. This is what they said.
• “Fortunately, the snow doesn’t affect us – if you have a computer, then you can work,” said Alison Steele, principal and owner of A+S Design in Durham. “I also reviewed a couple of (UNC Greensboro) Interior Architecture student portfolios. We did this virtually since we could not be there in person. Seeing new young talent was very refreshing on a cold day.”
• “We had to contact a couple of neighbors to do some visits for us on Tuesday (morning). That is why we get neighbors with a key as emergency contacts in case we can’t get there. We did that Monday night,” said Cindy Golden, owner of Raleigh Pet Sitters. “One client had her housekeeper stay overnight in their home, as we weren’t sure if we could have gotten there Tuesday (morning) for the visit. (For) two cat clients we left out extra food, and I went and saw them later on Tuesday. … We canceled all of our regularly scheduled mid-day walks for Tuesday as I didn’t want my employees driving in this and risk injury. Most clients were home themselves and totally understood.”
• “We closed our shop (Tuesday) knowing it would be too dangerous for anyone to be on the road,” said Cynthia Jones, owner of Savory Spice Shop in Lafayette Village in Raleigh. “Wednesday we had a two-hour delayed opening, and our staff closed early on Wednesday with the report of new snowfall expected to arrive late in the day. The actual hours spent in the shop were productive as we hand fill all our spice jars and caught up on back stock. This storm certainly impacted our sales for the week.”
• “We closed early on the day of the storm, and closed completely on the day after,” said Cynthia Deis, owner of Ornamentea, a Raleigh bead and craft supply store. “Our business is all about fun, but driving in hazardous conditions isn’t fun for our staff or our customers. In advance of the weather we reminded our customers to stop in and stock up their craft supplies, and we readied the store to be extra busy once everyone got cabin fever and needed to get out. I used my extra day off to play outside with my children and play inside at my studio table.”