City of Plantation Podcast

Episode 16 - Our Small Businesses

June 12, 2020 City of Plantation Episode 16
City of Plantation Podcast
Episode 16 - Our Small Businesses
Show Notes Transcript

Thank you for listening to the City of Plantation's Podcast. In this episode, Chief Cary Blanchard interview's several small business owners as they discuss the obstacles they've encountered during the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Podcast is aimed at keeping the residents of Plantation informed of events and important information happening throughout our city. Please subscribe to this podcast, as we will be producing new episodes on a regular basis.

Episode Details:
Host: Battalion Chief Cary Blanchard, Public Affairs
Producer: Acting EMS Division Chief Ezra Lubow
Music: Oakwood Station
Images: City of Plantation

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the city of plantations podcast. I am Carrie Blanchard, battalion chief of public affairs for the plantation fire department. Thank you for tuning in our podcast is designed to keep you up to date on all the latest happenings and activities in about and around the city of plantation on our episodes. We talked directly with the leaders decision makers and the movers and shakers we'll make plantation the great city that it is good morning. I'm Carrie Blanchard, the talent chief for the city of Penn station fire department. Today, we are at greater plantation chamber of commerce luncheon, and we are interviewing members of the chamber trying to find out what's going on with their businesses and how they've been affected with the coronavirus outbreak with us today. I have Beth Hanes min realtor at Berkshire Hathaway. Correct. Welcome. Thank you. So just curious to know, how has your business been affected with the coronavirus outbreak if it has, and what have you done about it at this point

Speaker 2:

everybody's business was affected. So, you know, it's real estate being an essential business. Ours was effected differently. So we just have to make sure that we're taking the proper precautions to keep safe and keep others safe at the well, we have many people panic in the very beginning canceled contracts listings that they didn't want shown, but mostly we've had people who are very, very compliant with us, knowing that we're doing what's best. We wear a mask, we wear gloves, we carry sanitizers and whites . We go in before anyone else, we make sure that any buyer showing properties will also be protected as well. And we really haven't seen that much of an effect on business. The business has been very good still. Okay, good. Good for you. Um , are you able to take advantage of any of the government programs that were available such as the cares act or anything like that? We did as far as cause we are our own business and as a single business owner, we did need help in the very beginning because we did have several cancellations. And, but we're seeing that the, now that those things are coming back, we will start taking a pay again and we'll be able to get back off of that program because we want to make it available to others as well. But , uh , thank everybody that was able to had struggles in getting it. And so it took some time, but we weren't able to manage to take advantage of some of that, so. Okay, good. Um, how are your employees holding up? Are you able to keep all your employees, the agency? Well as a , uh , independent realtor with Berkshire Hathaway, you know, I do have my own business. I have , um , a admin that works with me as well as another agent. So we were able to continue working. We don't, we did not take pay during that time. So that was the struggle.

Speaker 1:

Okay. For the future, how any changes are you planning on making, moving forward? It was going back to status.

Speaker 2:

Cool . No, we probably will never be back to where we were. We are doing business smarter and safer. We are all thinking about how we can do things virtually with showings. We all do a walk through videos so that people can see the homes and make sure that they do want the house before they come in as a listing agent, I need to make sure that we are doing professional photos. So they're getting good, clear pictures , uh , neighborhood videos as well, so they can see the neighborhoods. And then if you have a buyer who is interested is still to come in, we make sure that we arrange for those and we show them ourselves. So it's a little more cumbersome than what it was before. We're not as free as we were, but we still are doing a great , good business. And we really appreciate everyone relying on us for the professionalism. Can you tell me about the real estate industry as a whole? How is the real estate doing? It's I'm glad you asked because it is very exciting to see how our real estate market really did not hurt. Yes. In the very beginning, we had a lot of things that happened , but immediately I said within the two weeks people started seeing, we still need homes. We still need to sell our home. So they look for a professional that would help them and help them in a way that would keep them safe. So our market has been lacking on listings. It's starting to come back, buyers are there. So that's been very good as we've seen the values maintaining, or even going up a little higher. So I am with low interest rates. So low buyers have been to take advantage of still be able to qualify for more than what they would have originally and getting a better home. Okay, good. I know you had mentioned earlier about virtual showings. Do you foresee that being a longterm thing, like even beyond this, these few months, did you foresee that in the future? That's the way that is going to happen? Definitely. We have a lot of people coming from out of the country and out and from up North that really wants to live in Florida. Plantation, Florida is a hot spot. The name plantation is the right reputation and we have a lot of people who wanted to be here. So virtual showings would just get wet. There tastes a little bit more and hopefully get them here to sign the contract. So in going virtual , um, what can you tell me about things such as , um, videography and photography and like zoom, like that's become very popular meetings through zoom or go to meeting. Is that something that's going to be part of this for the future? I think it is. I think it's here to stay it's uh , this whole thing brought us all of her comfort zone and said, you've got to be a little more progressive and getting everybody on board with real estate. The best way to do that is to capture the biggest audience. You can, zoom meetings are very important. You can go onto Facebook and invite everybody come to my zoom meeting, we're doing trainings , uh , virtual trainings like that. And it's really been very successful, you know, as far as getting people on board and getting the name out there. Okay, good. Well, Beth, that's it for today. Thank you very much for taking the time to sit with us and chat with us on this episode, but thank you so much for having me and I wish you all the best. Thank you. Safe. Stay safe . Thanks. Good morning. We're joined now by Maria bonds from Syria plastic surgery. Good morning, Maria. Good morning. Thank you for joining us.

Speaker 1:

Um , so we're just trying to get a feel for what's going on in businesses, local businesses in the city of plantation and how they were affected and how they're recovering from the COBIT outbreak. How was your business affected with this coronavirus?

Speaker 3:

Well, we had to close for at least six weeks. Um, but what I did notice was that patients were still getting in touch with us still calling. I actually thought it was kind of funny. I had a patient call and ask, can I just stop by? And you come outside and do my Botox for me. Of course we could not do that. Um, but yes, it did affect us for those six weeks of not having any clients or clearly getting any , um , revenue.

Speaker 1:

Okay. What steps did you take to make it through like, cause six weeks is a long time for a business to be closed.

Speaker 3:

It is , uh, our boss was really wonderful. He got a P P P loan and he was able to pay us without letting anyone go, which was truly amazing. Um, we did continue to contact our patients. We have our own app called simplest. So there , they were able to text us, call us securely and we were able to communicate with them and we still try to continue business as usual on the backend. So we kept putting everybody like in June, July, August for appointments.

Speaker 1:

Okay . So , uh, I guess at this point, I'm assuming that you're going to recover or you open back up again.

Speaker 3:

We are, we've been open now I think about three weeks and it's been extremely busy, which is wonderful. That's what we want. So yes, it's been great.

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean , yeah, I'm sure that with people being out of LA for six weeks, everybody is now trying to get back in. Good. Good for you. Um , how are your employees holding up?

Speaker 3:

You know what they're actually doing good again, we got paid our normal salary, which was wonderful. Um, I can't imagine not getting paid and not being able to get your groceries or anything that you would need. So truthfully our staff were not fully effected .

Speaker 1:

Okay. So, cause I know you had mentioned earlier that they had, were able to take advantage of the cares act and the paycheck protection program. And that was helpful obviously.

Speaker 3:

Oh, absolutely. We're very grateful for that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Because you know, a health crisis became a financial crisis. So , um, what changes are you planning moving forward? Like how are things, how have things changed?

Speaker 3:

Well, for us, we literally can't have too many patients in our office at the same time. Clearly people are wearing masks from now on we're checking temperatures and any patient that has to have surgery. We do a COVID test several days prior, so we're trying to keep everybody safe staff clients as well. So it's a big change.

Speaker 1:

Do you see that going into the future for long term?

Speaker 3:

I do. Until they can come up with a cure , um , or a vaccination, we're just going to be

Speaker 1:

doing what we have to do to keep everybody safe. Yeah . Protecting your employees and protecting the patients as well. Okay. Excellent. All right . Thank you Maria. For very much for taking the time to join us. We really appreciate you. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Okay. And joining us now is max kennel Vaca from ECR graphics and printing and his wife. Lou. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today. Um , so we're discussing , um, how businesses, small businesses implantation have been affected or impacted by the coronavirus outbreak . So how has your business been affected?

Speaker 4:

Listen, we got that terrific customers in the city of plantations have been really good to our business. Um , definitely the business dropped quite a bit, but steadily it, hasn't been picking up

Speaker 3:

a lot of , uh , we do a lot of printing for events and things for that. So since March people have in Kansas been canceled. Okay. So our main month for those type of businesses were February, March, April, may, even June. So that's a lot of , lots of revenue for us on those cases, of course, you know , but , um, we do have good clients that are coming back and we try to, you know , try to make things work and we're ready to go back full force.

Speaker 4:

Like the , like everything else, a suicide, you know , it's got really tight and we do see the light. Thank God. And uh , we're ready to go. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Okay, good. Um, I know that the government has programs in place to help small businesses like through the cares act, a paycheck protection program. Were you able to take advantage of any of those programs?

Speaker 4:

The PPP , um, worked out pretty good and that's , that's about all we could , uh,

Speaker 3:

yeah, everything else was you couldn't get online all the time was still trying to get from April . It's so hard to log in and then they ran out of money. You know, it hasn't, it hasn't, I don't think we've gotten full benefits.

Speaker 1:

Was the PPP program easy for you, you know, applying for it and the whole process? Was it easier? Was it difficult?

Speaker 4:

No. The PPP went pretty smooth. Um, although , um, we were expecting a little more than we got, but , uh , something is better than none , of course. So.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Um, do you have employees where , where did you have to let any of your employees go or anything like that?

Speaker 4:

We have, we have , uh , we, we did hold on as long as we could, we cut some of the hours. Uh , but we, we definitely , uh , maybe not a hundred percent, but we did take care. Our employees, we did a back them up was the key to our success.

Speaker 5:

Do you anticipate being able to bring them back for sure? Is it situation improves? Yes. Um , have you implemented any changes to the business? I mean, I'm , this is going to be longterm , our new normal, what they're calling it. Are you making any changes to your, the way that you do business to ?

Speaker 4:

No, but I will tell you this, although , uh, we appreciate our customers behind before this. We appreciate them a heck of a lot more right now. It's just, we have amazing customers. Um,

Speaker 3:

we did , we have implemented where people have to wear masks when they come in, we have a small office area where people do stand apart. So people are very patient. And how long those things, you know, is that there was crowding in there. Cause we were taking fake safety measures like that.

Speaker 4:

We definitely cleaning more off than before sanitizing , the doors , counter seats. So yeah , other than, other than that, it's , it's been pretty good. It's pretty good. Right? Well, that's it for now. Just thank you very much, you know, stay safe and hopefully things will start to recover soon and get back to where you used to be. Thank you for having us. I w I would like to say one thing though. Uh , city of plantation, it's an amazing city. It really is. We love it. People are terrific. And we're just happy to be here. Yeah. We're very lucky here. We live in a great city. Thank you so much.

Speaker 5:

Thank you. Now we're being joined by Donna fall from creative frame. Thank you very much for joining us. Welcome. Well, thank you. Thank you for having me. So what we're trying to discuss is how small businesses have been affected, you know , throughout this Corona virus , how has your business been impacted? Um, well, like I said , uh , creative frame has been in business for over 40 years. Uh, we've been in the same location for all that time or doing third generation framing. But again, with this unprecedented time , um, impacted hard, you know, we are a luxury item. Uh, the last thing on people's mind, they want to spend money on framing, but I have had , um, you know, some of my good customers, you know, we've been doing glass repairs and bringing in, you know, one or two pieces here and there. Um, throughout the months when I would do nine or 10 a week or more, you know, we're down to two or three. So , um, but you know, my landlord has been very gracious , uh, took advantage of the state things that people live at the small business association and my, and the lenders that we've been able to keep our head above water in these times. So we're very grateful for that. That's great to hear. Um, I, I'm just curious, were you able to take advantage of any of the government programs that available like the paycheck protection program or cares act? Yes, we did. We got the , uh , payroll protection , uh , loan for that, and we did get the , um, the SBA. Um, we were able to get , uh, not as much as I thought, but we got like, you know, I think it was like 2000, which was, you know , absolutely any little bit helps. And again, there's , um , my husband and I, we do all the framing. It's just the two of us with the, for the payroll. So I think, you know, getting the , um, the loan for the payroll protection , uh , was a huge help. Do you guys, we hadn't drawn paychecks for the month of March or April. So with that loan, we were able to catch up with that. So that Kelly helped us with the keeping them business running and keeping the household running and things like that. So we, yeah , we did take advantage of them and very grateful really we can get, we can get that , um, the PPP forgiven. So that's what I'm working on now. Was it difficult to get it, you know, the process? How, how was that process? Actually, we went through bank of America, which is my banking , uh, system and the , it was all done online. Um, with the help of my CPA, we got it within three weeks, maybe even less, I think it came through and all of a sudden the money showed up in the account and I was grateful then it was just there . It makes it easy kids , you know, the most that we got because of our payroll, which is so low, it's just my husband and I, that if we don't get the forgiven, I'm maybe sure that we could pay it back if we had to , hopefully we don't have to . I know like everything's changed right now, like with this , how do you plan on going towards the future? What changes are you planning on implementing if any, well , um , being a small business , um, and usually I have no more than maybe four or five people at a time in the shop. If that many show up, you know, a family shows up to bring in, you know, a piece of art , um, you know, we're, we've always been cautious. You know, we cleaned the counter every night. Um, you know, there's just, like I said, it's just my husband and I, we do all the framing right there. Um, so, you know, even these times we did offer customers for curbside pickup and they can make appointment . Um, if in the future customers still want to do by appointment only we're open to that. Uh, they can call me telling me they're out in the parking lot. They come in, I locked the door. Nobody else can come in after that. And it's just them and me at the counter and, you know, just one-on-one and I feel comfortable that, and most of my customers have felt comfortable with that. And curbside pickup I've had also call me when the parking lot. I go out to the car, I bring the artwork into the shop. I design it, I take pictures, I email it or send a text message with the pictures and they approve it right then and there, and then they're done. They don't even have to come into the shop when it's done and ready. They, I bring it out to their trunk and put it right in, no contact whatsoever. Yeah. That's I will continue to do that. That's good because I'm sure a lot of people feel more comfortable doing that and told us this is a new normal, I'm sure that helps people. And we haven't been doing that a lot. You know, they just pop the trunk, I put it in and they pay me over the phone, no contact whatsoever. And they're very welcoming with that. You know, they trust me too . It's mostly most of my good customers that I've worked with for a long time. So I send them a couple of photos. I know what they want. They tell me where it's going to go and I kind of know how to design it. So yeah. Thanks. A lot of one-on-one virtually. All right . If you will. Perfect. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. I'm glad that things are well for you. My fingers crossed that things continue to improve. Yeah. Like I said, we'd been there a long time, so, you know, third and fourth generation framing. So knock wood. We can keep going. Thank you, Donna. Thank you. Thank you so much. You've been listening to the city of plantation podcast. We strive to bring you accurate and timely information. Please continue to tune in to our podcast episodes and also catch up with us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and next door. If you have questions, send them to ask cityHall@plantation.org and we will answer your questions directly. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our podcast and stay safe, everyone.