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Royal Oak small business owner shares story of trying to make ends meet during coronavirus crisis

Trish Crowder fears business implications of vacations being canceled

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The owner of a small business in Royal Oak is trying to make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis, and she shared her story with Local 4 News.

During a Wednesday press conference’ Michigan’s chief medical officer said the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state has risen to 110.

The service industry and small businesses so crucial to the United States economy have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.

As stores temporarily shut down, many owners are worried about what will happen when this all comes to pass.

Trish Crowder is the owner of Custom Swimwear by Exelnt Designs in Royal Oak. She said she did something she’s never had to do before: close the doors to her business.

“It was terrible,” Crowder said.

The store has 12 employees, from the seamstresses to the sales staff to the bookkeeper, and they’ve all had to pack up the operation in the last few days.

Crowder is in the fun and fashion business, making custom swimwear for vacationers. But with vacations being canceled since last Friday, her business has dropped 95%.

Optimistically, she hopes to reopen in two weeks, but she’s not sure that will happen. She said she hopes people will find her store online, but there’s nobody to immediately do the shopping.

Crowder said she hopes her staff will survive unemployment. One of her workers is a single mother of three and will only bring home a fraction of what she made. Others also have families and are worried about the near future.


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