Looking at the big picture for small businesses

Many businesses in our area are thankful to be up and running at least to some capacity again, but what does the big picture look like for our locally owned, small businesses?

It’s often said art imitates life, but one thing is for sure, there’s a lot more life at Negrotto’s Frame and Art now that Gulfport Business Owner Butch Simpson has been cleared to let his two employees return to work. “We were happy to get them back and they were happy to get back. We were following the state guidelines.  We’re still keeping our doors locked. Knock on the door, set an appointment, let them in, so we can do one at a time in the gallery, but it’s nice to have them back to work.”

You may remember News 25 spoke with Simpson several weeks ago about his concerns over the business lock downs. Today, he paints a brighter picture and believes things are starting to look up. “The month of April, we ended up being down 73 percent. For the month of May we’re only down 48 percent, and for the year, we’re only down a little less than 30 percent, so it seems like it’s starting to come back.”

While Negrotto’s Frame & Art typically does their business in-house, Director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Adele Lyons says it is likely more businesses will start putting more of an emphasis on online sales and marketing. “Some things we’re already seeing. The question is will people go back and have people in offices or retail locations, or do they stick with a more remote setting? It just depends on that business and what works best for them.”

And the clock is ticking down for some businesses still planning to get aid. “Some of the various programs have deadlines, and if people have not applied, they really need to get on that and get with their local banker, for the PPP program, specifically. The Main Street Lending Program, which came out after PPP, still there’s funds available there, but PPP is the one that most small businesses have been looking at, and if they haven’t done that and intend to do that, I would suggest they do that soon so the money doesn’t run out.”

As for Butch Simpson and his employees, they’re just glad to be back in business.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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