Small businesses and non-profits are especially hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak. We get it! Baltimore Fishbowl is a small business, too. To help small businesses and non-profits, we will provide regular updates to let you know how they are coping.
The following is an update from Ali von Paris, the Founder of Route One Apparel, on how they are adapting and coping during these times.
How have you altered your business to adapt to the quarantine?
Like everyone else in our state, we had to react quickly to this situation, and we have done a complete 180 in a few short weeks. We have allowed the majority of our non-fulfillment staff to work remotely, and our fulfillment representatives are wearing masks and gloves and practicing social distancing to stay safe while filling orders.
In addition, we have worked very hard and fast to design and sell new products, including essential items like face masks, neck gaiters, surgical caps and bandanas, as well as new t-shirt designs to try to help keep spirits up in this stressful time.
Are you doing something for the community or your employees that you want to share with our readers?
At Route One Apparel, we specialize in celebrating Maryland pride, and right now, that means supporting other local businesses who are facing such difficult challenges. We started by creating our “One Community” landing page, showcasing many local businesses in need of support. We also made it possible for people to post about any charitable goods or services they are offering – for example, a photographer has offered free photography for businesses that have lost income.
We are donating a portion of the proceeds from our new t-shirt designs to the Maryland Food Bank and BARCS – two organizations chosen by our customers. So far, we have collected more than $10,000!
And lastly, for every face mask sold we are donating another to someone on the frontlines at health care facilities and essential businesses across the state.
What is the status of your employees?
We are grateful and proud to still be fully staffed.
How can readers help you get through the crisis?
Beyond continuing to support our business and community efforts by shopping online, we are also inviting readers to nominate recipients for our donated face masks. Anyone wishing to nominate a frontlines worker can fill out our form online here: https://www.routeoneapparel.
How are you coping, personally?
In our 10 years in business, we have never experienced such a high volume of orders in such a short period of time! It has been overwhelming for our small team, but obviously, we are beyond grateful to be in this position. We had no idea what to expect when the quarantine began and to receive this level of response from our customers has been such a blessing. We are trying to be as transparent as possible about how long it is taking us to get products in stock and fulfill orders, and our customers have been so kind and patient. As challenging as it has been, it has truly reminded us again why we are so proud to be in Maryland!
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
We just want to encourage your readers to please continue to shop local and support the business owners and charities in your communities! We all need you now more than ever.
If you represent a local small business or non-profit and would like to share your update with our readers, contact Nicole Allen at [email protected]. During the crisis, we will offer these sponsored posts for free as a service to the community until May 15.