MALVERN, Ark. — Due to the pandemic, small businesses are closing their doors left and right. Small towns are hurting the worst.
At least three businesses have closed up shop in Malvern simply because they don’t have the customers. Many people are still scared to get out and those remaining businesses don’t know how much longer they can stay open.
From the occasional car passing through to empty sidewalks.
“It just feels like the breaks have been hit and we’re never going to go back,” said Stephanie Collie the owner of Malvern Mercantile.
Malvern businesses are just trying to keep the kitchens running and the orders coming. Over at Malvern Mercantile Collie says before COVID it eas unusual to see an empty table.
“The whole place was full. People sat together who didn’t come together because there was no seating,” said Collie.
Now they’ve cut back hours, employees and even the menu.
“There for a while we were preparing and throwing away wasting 300 a week,” said Collie.
The only thing keeping their head above water.
“That we already had the flower shop, so it’s kind of given us the backbone we need to stay open,” said Collie.
Other businesses owners aren’t as lucky.
“It’s a scary scary world right now for sure,” said Tessa Conyers owner of Picket Fence.
Conyers is in her 18th year running the Picket Fence Vintage Market.
“It’s always been a great business and I’m to the point that I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” said Conyers.
Her shop is made up of vendors leasing space and selling their products.
“So it’s not only me that it’s effected, it’s all my vendors,” said Conyers.
With the uncertainty, she picked up a second job to help pay the bills.
“I had an opportunity to sell used vehicles,” said Conyers.
She’s using the parking lot behind her store and it’s helped keep her shop open.
“I hope that that can keep me afloat until things pick up,” said Conyers.
Now she just wonders for how long.
“To close, to know that I would have to close to get a job because I can’t financially support myself it’s going to be bad. It’s going to be a really really sad day if that happens,” said Conyers.
The Malvern Mercantile did get a small business loan which she said helped, but over at the Picket Fence they did not.