Black owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Greek vine custom apparel and embroidery in Jonesboro has been struggling since COVID forced them to temporally close their doors in April for a new business owner this was something she was not prepared for.
The clothing store relies heavily on business from Arkansas State students.
Store owner, LaQuita Lewis, bought Greek Vine in February and has been forced to adapt their business due to COVID.
She says the store has taken a drastic hit financially.
“We had vendor events for different things that were going on, on campus. Those had to be canceled. So, of course, that was lost revenue the doors not being open. At the time we don’t have a website yet, so we were still working on that so people weren’t able to buy online. We did a couple of email orders but nowhere near what they did last year as far as sales here,” store owner, LaQuita Lewis said.
They did apply for PPP loan funding and other grants to pay their employees during the time they were closed.
When they first opened, they had 3 employees and they couldn’t work because of family health concerns.
“I still tried to have them get a couple hours by doing maybe a couple of little things but they all basically had to be at home,” Lewis said.
Since being open sales have increased some.
Lewis says she has new ideas and things she wants to do by being inclusive to those in the Divine Nine Greek Organizations.
She says she is growing each day and has learned to have a backup plan moving forward.
“Right now, we’re trying to get the website off the ground so, for some reason you can’t come in you’re still able to purchase from the safety of your home. So, this is all new to me anyway to be a business owner to own a store so, I take a lot of things from the previous owners and I use those and just grow each day,” Lewis said.
The Greek Vine Custom Apparel and Embroidery is located in the Fountain Square shopping center by Walmart or visit them on their social media pages at Greek Vine Jonesboro.