Applying for grants and loans during the COVID-19 challenge
We are a retail store with an Artisan Team working
We have recently applied for grants and loans because of the covid-19 challenge at Shady Lane
These are some of the questions we answered:
Please share a brief description of your company, including the product and/or service you offer.
We founded our retail store to showcase our own artisan creations that we sold at art shows throughout the Bay Area. We are now a group of local artisans, all women, who help out in the store and showcase our creations at Shady Lane. We sell mostly hand created gift items but also purchase designs from local and international artisans. My husband Rick helped out for many years but because of his severe hearing loss attributed to his tour of duty in Vietnam he can only help out behind the scenes now. I am answearing these questions for both of us as we are a husband and wife team but I manage the store now.
Please select your company's industry:
What percentage of your team is New Majority, including women, people of color, military-affiliated, persons with disabilities, or LGBTQ+?
75% - 100%
18. Elaborate on the diversity of your team, in two sentences or less.
We have a local artisan team from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. We are all dedicated to the store and our art and put in voluntary workdays to have a platform to showcase our creations in the store.
Which of the following has been the greatest help to your business?
Elaborate on the greatest help to your business, in two sentences or less.
Customers visit our store from all over the Bay Area because they appreciate our amazing selection and knowledgeable artisan staff. Please read our customers reviews on our website.
What is your biggest challenge right now?
Raising capital/Finding a loan
Elaborate on your biggest challenge, in two sentences or less.
The day to day overhead of running a storefront in a very expensive high rent area. I have had to dip into my own personal savings at times to make ends meet.
What is your top channel to acquire customers?
What paid business services are critical to your business?
Email and Cloud Storage, Merchant Services, Website Hosting, Banking and Insurance, Computers and Other Supplies
Which organization or network has helped you most in your journey as a business owner?
Please explain how this network has helped you, in two sentences or less.
We are a spiral of gratitude with our longtime customer's loyalty because they appreciate our store and artisans. The spiral connects with our artisans giving back with their beautiful creations and attentive customer service. We truly are a very unique harmony of the vibration of gratitude.
If you could tell the President of the United States one thing the federal government could do to support the growth of your business, what would it be? (This applies to general support for your business, not in relation to COVID-19 response.)
Provide or Incentivize Innovative and Alternative Capital Solution
If you could tell your Mayor one thing the city could do to support the growth of your business, what would it be? (This applies to general support for your business, not in relation to COVID-19 response.)
Please elaborate on how your local government can support your business, in two sentences or less.
Local government could help us negotiate with landlords on the skyrocketing rents in the area where smaller beloved heritage businesses are forced out of business because of the rent increases. As an example our rent was doubled in 2008 when our new landlord took over our lease in the storefront we were renting on University Avenue in Palo Alto. We are still dealing with the impact of this past financial challenge to this day. We are very thankful to have found our new location in Menlo Park.
How do you make a positive impact through your business?
Other, Integrate social impact as core part of business
Elaborate on the positive impacts of your business.
We fit into the category of supporting local artisans by giving them the platform to showcase their creations in a beautiful setting with a long history of an appreciative customer base.
What else should we know about your business, or about you?
Our beautiful website tells our story. We edit it ourselves and take our own photos adding to it almost daily. My husband and I founded the store in 1975 to showcase our own creations. We are celebrating our 45 years in business in April of this year. I was on staff every day this year (mostly half days) until we closed down in March 2020. In 2014 I was on staff in the store every day (full days) we were open when my artisan partner of 30 years retired. I helped build a completely new website that year in two months when our website was accidentally deleted. I have put my heart and soul into our store and I know it is my calling. I am proud of my tenacity, good decisions and creative skills needed to keep it open. What is most important is listening to my heart when I make important decisions and my wonderful and suppotive artisan team. With experience comes wisdom. I humbly hope to emerge from my new challenge stronger than ever as I have done it before and I can do again!
COVID-19 Emergency Grants Please complete the below section if your business has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and to apply for immediate support in the form of $10,000 grants.
I would like to apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Grant, which is being distributed immediately, as emergency funds for businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.Yes
If you selected no to the question above, please do not complete the following questions. Proceed to submit your Business for All Grant Application below.
When do you need access to emergency funds?
Which of the following expenses are most pressing for your business?
Existing rent and utilities, Overhead to temporarily pause business operations with intent of reopening, Social media marketing, Expenses related to pivoting my business model, Paid advertising
Have you pivoted your business model due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Please explain in 2 sentences or less.
We have added a "Shop" tab onto our website. It is a work in progress. We feature so many one of a kind items that we have always relied on a personal shopping experience in our store rather than an online shopping on our website. Taking photos in a beautiful manner is so much more "us" rather than the photos taken on a shop online experience but we are working on it.
What support would you like from the government to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Emergency grants, Emergency loan programs, Rent relief
What has been the biggest impact COVID-19 has had on your business?
Reduced sales due to social distancing/isolation
Please explain in 2 sentences or less.
Since we were strictly an "in the store retail experience" our sales have decreased 98% since we were ordered to temporally close under the Shelter in Place mandate on March 17th. We are very supportive of this mandate and will stay closed until San Mateo County lifts it, but it is truly a devastating economic challenge for us.