ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) –– The U.S. economy had one of it’s worst quarters on record with GDP dropping 32.9% on an annualized basis. This has made small business owners get creative in ways to keep sales up, and customers safe.
Since the pandemic began, Sherry Puttkammer who owns The Dotted Pig in Downtown Rogers has added new services for customers like home deliveries, Facebook Lives and even a website.
“We still have a lot of people coming in, but have to limit capacity in store,” Puttkammer said.
Small businesses across the state are getting slammed by COVID-19. The actual contraction of GDP decrease was 9.5%, the largest quarterly plunge. The closest previous drop was in 1921, when GDP was down 28.6%.
Ted Rossman, an Industry Analyst at CreditCards.com said there are many ways for businesses to reach out for financial help. “Whether it’s through programs we’ve already seen, like PPP or some of these other small business administration or fed programs, or even just relying on the generosity of customers,” he said.
But Puttkammer didn’t take out any loans.
“A lot of people think ‘Oh well they’re getting money to keep the doors open’, we’re not one of those stores, so our local support has been very important to us” Puttkammer said.
Rossman said the shift to online shopping has been huge, “I definitely see a lot of pivots here. You know eCommerce is another huge one. We’re seeing a lot of stores getting creative,” he said.
He said the digital trend is one that he thinks will be here to stay, and that’s exactly what Puttkammer did.
“We felt like we had to recreate what we’re doing…so we started a website,” she said, and customers loved the online option. “We offer curbside service, we were making home deliveries, doing things that would make it easier for people to shop.”
Puttkammer said so far it’s been a success and she’s glad because she doesn’t want to raise prices just to keep the doors open.
“We’re not closing our doors so we have to figure something out,” she said.
Puttkammer tells me she’s thankful for the loyal support of local customers, and she hopes the tax-free weekend will pull even more in.