JOPPA, Md. (WJZ) — In a warehouse often empty, shelves at Harford Sound are fully stocked. With hundreds of concerts and events canceled nationwide, this company is out of work.
“It’ll translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Everything is wiped out now till May,” said Harford Sound’s Director of Sales Steve Wozniak.
The company’s CEO Evan Kirkendall said usually his staff is on the phone all day scheduling gigs, repairing equipment, planning for events, but with their recent free time the group made a music video singing about being quarantined.
In an effort to stay afloat Harford Sound is hoping to stream video and record bands and virtual shows inside their warehouse @wjz #coronavirus #economicimpact #smallbusiness pic.twitter.com/7wZ6he9q8K
— Rachael Cardin (@RachaelCardin) March 19, 2020
Though the video was all in good fun, the message is real. Small businesses are struggling.
To other businesses, even his competitors Kirkendall said, “Hang on. It seems grim right now, but as long as everybody stays in this together, we will be alright.”
Kirkendall started this business 15 years ago in his parent’s garage. It has grown exponentially but without clients everything comes to a halt.
“This was probably the largest gross revenue headed our way, and the coronavirus came and within 24 hours all this went away,” said Kirkendall.
Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen spoke to WJZ describing new plans to help small businesses survive this economic hardship.
“It’s absolutely vital we provide them a lifeline to survive this moment,” said Van Hollen.
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One option is a grant program where companies of 2-50 employees would receive up to $50,000 in funding.
Another plan is for loan and interest forgiveness so that money being spent can go directly into the economy.
Harford Sound hopes the government does not forget freelance workers who are not paid with a salary but are also without work.
Kirkendall is trying to remain as positive as possible, urging his clients and colleagues to not give up hope, help out another business as much as you can to pay it forward, and please wash your hands!
“I think as long as promoters and vendors hang on, people are going to come back,” said Kirkendall.