By Riley Morningstar
SENECA — As small businesses claw to make up for months of lost revenue because of the COVID-19 shutdown, one local consignment store lost out on its most profitable period of the year.
All About Children Consignment and Resale opened in 2001, and co-owner Terry Wilbanks said that while the store has suffered, it is bouncing back.
“We lost the busiest section of our spring and summer business,” she said. “Those few weeks before Easter and when the season was changing — that’s usually our busiest time. It has been busy since we’ve opened back up, but we still lost that chunk of our spring/summer budget of income coming in.”
The virus has forced owners to get creative and clean — extensively.
“We are constantly cleaning the toys. We have a solution we spray on the toys just because they get touched the most,” she said. “The pens that people use for receipts, we’re wiping down. The doors we’re wiping down every 30 minutes — just things that we weren’t necessarily doing all day before this happened.”
Located at 267 Market St. in Seneca, the consignment store is just the latest small business in Oconee County to join the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program started by The Journal. In two weeks, more than $9,000 has been donated to the fund to help businesses with marketing assistance.
Wilbanks said marketing is one of the most important aspects of operating a small business.
“Word of mouth and people that didn’t know we were here and maybe saw an ad or saw our Facebook that someone had shared and then they come in and tell so and so,” Wilbanks said. “The marketing to get one, two or 25 people that will then tell other people to ‘check them out.’ I think the marketing helps the word of mouth, which helps the marketing, and it keeps going around and around.”
Wilbanks made her case that small businesses everywhere need local support, now more than ever.
“Walmart’s not going anywhere. The chain stores are so large that this isn’t going to affect them as much as the small businesses,” she said. “The workers at Walmart or wherever are still going to get paid for coming to work, because they have money, where we depend on this for our only income. With a family business, our husbands have income, which helps. If you have a family business and the husband and wife work together, that’s their bread and butter. That’s all they have, so it’s so important to support the local businesses.”
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