MCALLEN, Texas – Two months ago, more businesses were opening in McAllen than closing, but the pandemic has changed everything.
The grand opening of Maison Stivalet was held in January, but as business grew things suddenly took a turn.
“It was scary at first because being a new business that is barely getting our name out there, barely establishing trust within the community and with our guest it was a little bit scary because we didn’t know what our next step was going to be,” said Joleesa Vandusen, front of the house manager of Maison Stivalet.
According to the Owner of Maison Stivalet, Adelle Stivalet, they ended up closing the dining room and cutting employee hours.
To get an idea of the pandemic’s impact on businesses, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce put together a survey and got over 200 responses from local businesses.
“60% of the business have cut their operations and then also that coincides with the fact that they have lost about 60% of their revenue stream,” said Steve Ahlenius, president & CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, 101,537 people in McAllen have either been terminated, furloughed or had their hours reduced. That is a third of the city’s workforce.
However, businesses like Maison Stivalet are still working to stay afloat.
“We’re trying our best like offering different packages for our customers and luckily we have customers who have stuck by us and keep ordering,” said Stivalet.
The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is looking for ways to help.
“So, that’s one of the things that we’re going to be launching here within the next week is how to sell online because if you have different business models and different platforms to allow you to make money then you’re not just tied to customers walking into your brick and mortar store,” said Ahlenius.