Wilmington-area artists forced to change business tactics due to COVID-19

Local artists are shifting their focus to online sales, creating their own markets and even shopping for Instacart to keep their themselves afloat amid pandemic cancelations

Emma Dill
| Wilmington StarNews

As she watched COVID-19 cancel Wilmington-area festivals earlier this year, Linda Callison started freaking out a little.

Callison, a 60-year-old Wilmington-based artist, relies on venues like festivals and farmer’s markets to sell her work. Her jewelry business – called Out of Chaos – does not have online sales.

In mid-March, with everything in the near future cancelled, Callison turned to Instacart to make ends meet. She shopped and delivered grocery orders almost every day for the next three months to support her and her 89-year-old mother.

For many Wilmington-area artists like Callison, selling work at markets and festivals is the lifeblood of their business. The Wilmington area has seen the cancelation of major festivals, including the Azalea Festival, Autumn

Read More

BBB Tip: How to support small businesses during coronavirus | Business

Small businesses need your support to make it through these uncertain times. Here are the Better Business Bureau’s tips on how everyone can support small businesses – with or without spending money.

This crisis is affecting all types of small business. This includes places you use every day, such as your local coffee shop or favorite lunch place, but also businesses that might not immediately come to mind. The closures and cancellations have hurt services like home improvement contractors, daycare providers, dry cleaners, and car mechanics, as well as healthcare business, such as your dentist or chiropractor. Even business-to-business fields, such as the graphic designer who designs your office’s brochures or the accounting firm who does the books, are feeling the impact.

By closing their doors temporarily, small businesses helped to keep their customers and employees healthy. But the loss of income has made it tough to cover on-going expenses

Read More

Russia Shuns Tough Restrictions Even as Infections Soar | Business News

By DARIA LITVINOVA, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — It’s Friday night in Moscow, and popular bars and restaurants in the city center are packed. No one except the staff is wearing a mask or bothers to keep their distance. There is little indication at all that Russia is being swept by a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

“I believe that everyone will have the disease eventually,” says Dr. Alexandra Yerofeyeva, an internal medicine specialist at an insurance company, while sipping a cocktail at The Bix bar in Moscow. She adds cheerfully: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

The outbreak in Russia this month is breaking the records set in the spring, when a lockdown to slow the spread of the virus was put in place. But, as governments across Europe move to reimpose restrictions to counter rising cases, authorities in Russia are resisting shutting down businesses again. Some regions have closed nightclubs or

Read More

Starting a hat-making business helped me cope with my terminal cancer diagnosis

To my surprise, the terminal diagnosis gave me the impetus to make the idea real. I was working in a job I loved, managing a store for a luxury leather and lifestyle brand, but my employers were supportive, helping me come up with branding ideas. A pair of bamboo socks we sold gave me the idea for the fabric to use for the hats: bamboo keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer and doesn’t irritate your hair follicles.

At a Christmas fair in 2019, I met a hatmaker who helped me to source bamboo and find an overseas factory. It was important to me that the colours were right: soft, flecked pastels so as not to wash out the pale skin that cancer patients get when they go through chemo.

These days, the business keeps me going as I sit through hospital appointments – in fact, it has

Read More

Keeping ‘congregate’ living facilities safe from COVID-19 | Business

Saanen Kerson

Saanen Kerson, associate director at Vine Village, in art class with residents.

Saanen Kerson, the associate director of Vine Village, first learned about COVID-19 in January from a relative living in China.

Napa’s Vine Village provides residential care and supportive services for people with developmental services.

Saanen knew that she needed to develop a plan quickly because people with developmental disabilities and autism are more susceptible to infections and health complications than other people.

With no pandemic experience or plans to draw on, Saanen and her staff were faced with complicated decisions about how to protect residents and staff.

First, in February she began ordering cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and food in anticipation of shortages to come.

Vine Village was on immediate lockdown. They closed their Arts and Agriculture Day Program for people from the greater Napa community who have developmental disabilities.

Then they

Read More

Open enrollment for insurance begins during uncertain times for employers and workers | Business Local

Caliri advises everyone to look carefully at their options before automatically renewing their existing policy, as even small changes can affect out-of-pocket costs.

The state’s navigators are working from home because of COVID-19. Caliri said she can help people enroll online and can meet with them if needed. To make an appointment, call 540-613-1696.

She can also enroll people in Medicaid.

Americans 65 and older could begin on Thursday selecting coverage for 2021. They have until Dec. 7 to make their selections.

Scott Golden, spokesman for Anthem, suggests that Medicare subscribers take a good look at their current and future health needs.

Insurance brokers can help them navigate through all of the options, but Golden said consumers can also call insurance companies directly.

“Many health insurers, like Anthem, have knowledgeable people on the phone to walk them through the options of what is available. If they want, they can have

Read More

How Digital Beauty Brands Make Wholesale Work | The Business of Beauty, BoF Professional

NEW YORK, United States — Launching wholesale retail during a pandemic may seem counterintuitive: beauty business has boomed online as a result of lockdowns and cautious shoppers looking to avoid visiting stores.

But in beauty, stores still matter.

Pre-Covid, brick and mortar accounted for 85 percent of beauty sales, according to McKinsey. And while online beauty sales surged during the spring lockdowns, customers quickly returned to stores once they reopened. Ulta Beauty said same-store sales were down 10 percent in July after most of its stores had reopened, a smaller decline than many fashion brands have seen this year. Retailers like Walmart and Target, which sell groceries, medicine and other “essential” products, are also doing brisk business in beauty. Target’s beauty business grew more than 20 percent last quarter, the retailer told BoF.

The partnership has got to be a win-win for everyone.

For many direct-to-consumer brands, the ultimate goal

Read More

Questor: a ‘simple, profitable business’ that could get snapped up if the shares fail to move

Not all “coronavirus stocks” are involved in vaccines or treatments. It may make front page news less often, but also important in the fight against Covid-19 is good ventilation – and the company we feature this week provided extraction systems for the NHS’s Nightingale hospital programme, no less.

Volution is not a household name although its Vent-Axia fans are. The firm was spun out of Smiths Group, the diversified engineer, in 2002 and floated 12 years later.

“Fans don’t sound that exciting but there is quite a lot of innovation,” said Stuart Widdowson, who holds Volution in his Odyssean investment trust. “For example, they can now be controlled by humidity sensors and a lot of work is being done on making them silent.”

He admitted that “at their simplest fans are a few bits of plastic and a motor” but said they avoided being a commodity, with all that means

Read More

$700-billion-dollar Hispanic business market at tipping point

Small businesses line Bagley Avenue in the Mexicantown neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, Michigan.

Bryan Mitchell | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As gridlock over another round of stimulus for small business in Washington continues, 5 million Latinos are at risk of bankruptcy, a new study reveals on Monday. Pre-pandemic they were the fastest-growing cohort on Main Street and contributed 4% to U.S. GDP. Their demise portends a troubling trend that can upend communities across America.

Statistics reveal the story. Latino companies that applied for the Paycheck Protection Program saw a 21% drop in revenue from February through September while their costs for PPE and other safety measures rose and continue to remain high. Additionally, they retrofitted their businesses to deal with the pandemic, which resulted in a huge amount of expenditure that exceeded their revenue in the summer. They spent a lot to stay open and ended with a negative 11%

Read More

Baton Rouge General to open ‘neighborhood’ hospital in Ascension | Business

PRAIRIEVILLE — A $30 million neighborhood hospital that Baton Rouge General has had under construction for nearly two years will open its primary care doctor’s office Monday and a new emergency room by next month, officials said. 

The new two-story, 42,550-square-foot Baton Rouge General–Ascension complex off La. 73 and near the Interstate 10 interchange is part of a deeper play that BRG executives hope to make in a growing part of Ascension Parish.

The hospital is located nearly equidistant from Ascension’s historic medical corridor along La. 30 in Gonzales and the heart of Baton Rouge’s medical facilities off Bluebonnet Boulevard and Essen Lane.

BRG officials said they picked the location in Ascension because more than 25,000 residents of Ascension Parish per year had been using the hospital’s facilities in Baton Rouge, and the hospital saw a need to take services closer to the people.

“There was just so many people

Read More