CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Like a lot of business owners, Priti Patel said this last year has been tough.
"The most challenging time of my life," Patel said.
Her spa, La Petit Spa, in Ballantyne, which is regularly the winner of Charlotte’s Best of the Best Awards, has lost revenue and had to completely pivot.
"We did take a loss," she said. "We closed down March 8 so we actually closed down an extra three weeks so that was 12 weeks of income not coming in."
Even once they re-opened, Patel had to get creative to keep her doors open and her 11 employees paid.
"It was a rapid loss of revenue for us and once we opened again clients afraid to come in. I had to change the way I was running my business," Patel said. "When we first closed I ended up doing a lot of online virtual consultations, revamped my website."
She did that in part thanks to the first round of PPP loans.
"That allowed me to change everything at the spa. Hand sanitizers and everything we needed to deal with the virus," she said.
But she said she needs more help to stay afloat because some customers aren’t comfortable coming back just yet.
On top of fighting to hang on to her once-thriving business, the mother of two has also lost several family members to Covid. But she said she still remains hopeful that brighter days are ahead.
"Eventually we’ll come out on the other side of this pandemic," she said.
The second round of PPP loans just opened Monday. Businesses should apply as soon as possible because there is once again a limited amount of help available and the program closes when the money runs out.