“The pandemic has greatly affected the way that our family owned small business, Main Oriental Market, operates and functions.
There are two major hardships we have dealt with since the pandemic. The first hardship is the loss of sales due to xenophobia and closing of imports and borders. Our products are 99% imported from Asian countries, but because of the origination of the virus our shipments and inventory did not show up for three months. We scraped together what we could and worked deals with wholesalers 4 hours away from us to provide our customers a small selection of Asian staple foods in the meantime. We also lost a lot of our customers due to what we believe is xenophobia. Because we are an Asian grocery store, and the majority of our products are from Asia, we believe people fear that we or our products could possibly be carriers of the virus.
The second biggest financial strain to the business was because of the policy of the “no-dine-in” customers. The week this policy was implemented, the sales from Main’s deli dropped by 75% and caused us to make an executive decision to completely shut down the kitchen until further notice. Because of the significant loss in income, we were forced to let go of the cooks and volunteers. This could have possibly been avoided had we had better assistance from the government.
As a small business, we need to be able to trust the government that we can be supported through tough times. Which is why it is so critical that the government relief funds such as PPP Loan and EIDL Loans be made available for our access versus large corporations.
It would give a family owned small business sufficient time to pivot and create new business models that would bring in income to recover from the losses of the pandemic. If the expenses are supplemented, it would also greatly help a small family business have sufficient revenue to rehire workers again. Overall, continuing to create jobs and stability in their local community.”