During Pandemic Small Business Expands
St. Petersburg, Fla. – On a corner in downtown St. Pete, sits a small business with the sign coming soon. Call it a sign of hope.
The business is called the Tipsy Mermaid, and inside its two owners are hard at work getting ready for their grand opening October 10th.
“We purchased it in February of this year. And it was my favorite store. So whenever I went into the Tipsy Mermaid, it was just my happy place,” said Charrell McLean, Tipsy Mermaid Owner.
Like any new business owner, she and her business partner Megan McIntyre were ready to bring in the dollar signs. But then coronavirus hit.
“We had to close in March, a few weeks after we just purchased the Tipsy Mermaid and we were closed for 8 or 9 weeks,” said McLean.
Like every business owner this year, they dug in, dug deep and found ways to keep their heads above water.
“With the website we started putting, taking the time, investing, to put everything online. And then we made it to where they could pick up with no contact delivery, we could do local delivery, and we could ship it,” said McLane.
“Social media is imperative, you are able to do things organically. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on adverting budget,” said Megan McIntyre, owner.
The pair filed for a small PPP loan and even found more money in places many haven’t looked.
“If you use Shopify, if you use Square, if you use companies like that, they are loaning now. And we were able to get a small portion of funds to help us with the expansion as well, from Square and Square Capital,” said McLane.
This lead to their sales to not only continue, but they were able to make a profit. With a soft opening on October 1st and a grand opening October 10th, they were told from many people it was crazy to expand during a pandemic.
“We have heard that several times,” laughs McLane. “But I think that when it is right, it is right. Now I can’t wait to open this one, and open the next one and keep going.”
The Tipsy Mermaid’s new address is 105 1st Street South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.