LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—- The COVID-19 pandemic has left a major impact on small businesses that operate locally. During Valentine’s day, people want to shower their spouse, significant other, or loved-ones with flowers, chocolate, stuffed toys, and balloons. This year, local floral shops hope more people will place deliveries.
Samana Sheikh from WLNS spoke to Britt Simons, the owner of Where The Wild Things Bloom located in Lansing.
Simmons stated 2020 and 2021 have been tough years for her business. The florist relies heavily on weddings to make her living, but due to the pandemic, many were canceled, or pushed back. Plus, there’s the economic impact of the crisis, where people are having a hard time making ends meet.
“Because you’re making what you can just count on not making during the month of January,” Simmons stated, “and that kind of boosts you into spring as we start to get rolling again in April and May.”
Several florists have had to get creative with their deliveries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of COVID-19 guidelines, many florists are focusing on curbside pickup and porch drop-off.
Simmons says it’s a proper way for their business to keep everyone safe and keep their shop open.
Laurie Van Ark also owns and operates B/A Flowers in East Lansing, and started working there while she was in high school in 1979. Her family-owned flower shop is primarily focusing on curbside delivery to operate their business this Valentine’s week to help their sales and keep their customers and employees safe.
“We have also done almost contact-less delivery,” stated Van Ark,“now that it’s cold-outside we can’t set it down how we used to on someone’s front porch, we have to actually hand it to them we make sure they’re there and it works out pretty smooth. So, very minimal contact.”
This year will make it 21 years of working through valentine’s days for Van Ark; however, this year she doesn’t know what to expect.
“People are very anxious to go outside, so maybe that will translate to a lot more deliveries… so that way they can stay safe and cuddled up at home, and we’ll get to them safely,” Van Ark said.
Both Van Ark and Simmons have relied on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for their advertising. The main purpose the both of these local florists are in business is to mainly uplift the community.
“When you have flowers and a plant in your presence… it almost forces you to focus on beauty and nature which is really what I think a calming thing for people,” Van Ark emphasized, “and we can do things that are very much not money but it does bring joy to people.”
Simmons went in-depth to explain the domino-effect of supporting local businesses.
“When you’re supporting small business I feel that it benefits and impacts our local community… It means we’re in it together.” Simmons exclaimed.
Where The Wild Things Bloom and B/A Flowers will continue to take phone orders all week for Valentine’s day, and are open for inquiries via phone, email, and on their websites.