For many New Yorkers who are struggling to keep their small businesses afloat, the passage of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package comes not a moment too soon.
For Dorcas Meyers, running a small business out of her home in Stapleton on Staten Island means using a measuring cup to create some of her all-natural skin and hair care products in her kitchen.
Meyers admits while her business, started in 2013, has never turned a profit, she says the pandemic led a drastic cut in revenue and the elimination of busy street fairs, where she would sell her products.
“Now we’re not even able to vend,” said Meyers, Founder and CEO of Roc-A-Natural. “I’ve lost about 51 to 75% of revenue. What am I supposed to do?”
But now Meyers has some hope that this long stretch of misfortune may be turning around, thanks to $1,400 in federal stimulus money that’s on the way.
“If I could have done cartwheels, I would have done that.” Meyers said.
While she had only been paying the monthly minimum on her business-related credit card expenses, Meyers plans to use the $1,400 to help cover that debt.
When she started Roc-A-Natural eight years ago, Meyers' initial goal was to inspire young women of color to embrace their natural hair and build their self-esteem.
“Roc-A-Natural is all about living in a healthy and natural state of mind,” said Meyers. “It’s all about building self-esteem through the beauty of natural hair, the confidence, physical fitness, healthy, smoothies, healthy eating!”
And while Meyers admits she did not qualify for the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans because she did not have a brick and mortar storefront or any employees other than herself, she says she tried to be creative by using her own backyard to help her business and other vendors sell some products during the holiday season.
And now Meyers is hopeful that the federal stimulus money will allow her to keep her small business afloat, until her customers can get back on their feet.
She has also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover other costs to keep her business from folding.