'Excited' small business owners look to rebound in red
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Small business retailers in the Town of Amherstburg are excited to be out of lockdown, and back into red.
Jodi McLean, owner of Terra Green Gardens also has a dose of nerves, because it’s her first day, with a store front business.
McLean has been making a line of natural beauty products for seven years, and always wanted a store.
She looked at the same space on Dalhousie Street three times, and it came up again for lease in August 2020.
“It didn’t exactly pan out, timing wise but if I keep waiting for that perfect time, it’s just never going to happen so I just jumped on it,” she says
McLean renovated the space and added in work from 10 other Canadian artists and did curbside pickup until she could allow in-store shoppers.
“I’m nervous but excited, I think I’ve been waiting for it for so long that it you know, it’s like Christmas almost,” she says.
One street over, on Ramsey Street, the staff at Duby’s Home Centre are happy to welcome customers back, even though they were able to keep all staff employed during the second shutdown.
“Who would have ever thought that you could do kitchen design through a face time chat,” says owner Niki Gemus.
Gemus admits it’s much better to have clients in the store, in-person.
“It’s been a challenging year, to say the least, but we’re trying to stay optimistic,” she says.
Gemus says the 50 per cent cap on capacity is more than enough for small retailers to rebuild their businesses, and she is hopeful there won’t be a third lockdown.
“If we do, that we’ll still be able to greet customers, even if that’s one customer at a time in the store,” she says.
Half a block away, on Richmond Street, Mackie Jones got to work extra early Tuesday, and not because of the snow storm.
“I was really excited to bring people back in here, right? I was opened up earlier than 10 o’clock, and I was here,” she says.
Jones went online, offered free delivery and free shipping to stay afloat when business dried up in January.
Having customers back in her store means good things, going forward she says.
“I like to go in, and touch all the clothes and feel everything and try everything on, you don’t know how somethings’ going to fit,” Jones says.