WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Growing fear and frustration by small business owners across the country have many wondering if they’ll survive this pandemic.
Texomans can help their local businesses by giving a couple of dollars to help their favorite local store, coffee shop, restaurant or entertainment spots like the Wichita Theatre where coronavirus is keeping the curtain closed.
Wichita Theatre Performing Arts Center owner Dwayne Jackson said this is without a doubt the lowest moment he has seen the business in the 26 years his family has owned the theatre.
“When we were starting to build the stage all out in 1995, [that] was the year the Oklahoma City Bombings took place, then we had the 9/11 that we went through. but after that, we had the Gulf Wars and all of that affects people’s emotions and psyche about getting out,” Jackson said.
Jackson also remembers what damage the 2008 financial crisis caused, but he said not even that compares to our current climate.
“We have lost revenue up to the end of July we’ll be close to $450,000 for the year,” Jackson said.
Jackson said they were able to get funding from the federal government earlier on but that is pretty much gone and now they are focusing on how to pay monthly expenses.
“Electric bills and phone bills, internet bills and keeping up the place and so we still run about seven or $8,000 a month just to keep the doors from having to close permanently,” Jackson said.
President and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Henry Florsheim said if Texomans see businesses get to the point of shutting down, this will have a great impact on the city as a whole.
“The jobs that those companies create, so the people who are making the money, the company spends with other companies in town, those companies are generating sales taxes and property taxes,” Florsheim said.
Florsheim said this is a moral issue for the community so he urges those who can to spend money with our local businesses to help them stay afloat.
“Even if you don’t need those goods or services right now go buy a gift card or a subscription or membership or ticket something because that’s cash in that business owner’s pocket right now and that might just be the bit that helps them get through this,” Florsheim said.
Florsheim also said many who like what the chamber does to support local business won’t be able to renew their membership, but people can help by sponsoring that business.
Call 940-723-2741 or click here for more information from the Chamber of Commerce.