Small Business Gets Creative to Survive
Since 2013, Amanda George and Lalka Morales had been the leading dog walking and pet sitting business in South Tampa. Similar to nearly all small businesses in the country, the pandemic changed everything.
SoHo Hound lost about 90% of their clientele and dropped to as low as five daily dog walks, a far cry from their daily average of 75 dogs.
“To keep the business open last year we had to cut all 15 of our staff and ran the business on our own for the summer until we had enough business again to re-hire. It was something we never thought we would have to do and was a very difficult decision. Although it was hard work and 24/7, we were so happy to have any business at all,” George told FOX Business.
To remain open, George and Morales got creative. The two business partners decided to launch a new transportation service for pets. They offered rides to the vet, groomer, pet boarder and daycares. Clients who sought extra attention for their pets, leaned on SoHo Hound.
George also noted that due to the number of people moving to Florida because of the more lax restrictions, new clients kept their hopes alive. The company is back to 10 staff members and they are encouraged that they will continue to grow.
“We are so thankful to our clients who stuck with us, encouraged us, and kept us walking their dogs even if they didn’t really need us as they were working from home,” George said. “They just wanted to make sure that we would be around still when things got better.”
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