AUSTIN, Texas - One year ago, Easy Tiger, among numerous businesses across the country was rocked by news of the coronavirus arriving in the United States. "All aspects of our business were turned on end by the pandemic," said David Norman, head dough puncher at Easy Tiger.
The bakery shop and beer garden establishment ended up having to close down their original 6th Street location.
"In the wholesale bakery, over 80 percent of our business was under hospitality, restaurants, other bakeries around town, of course, that went away immediately. Our beer gardens had to shut down, but we were already in the process of developing a delivery/curbside business so, it accelerated that," said Norman.
Of course, they were not alone. The country shut down, now a year into the pandemic, some businesses are starting to recover. "Fifty-seven percent of businesses are seeing their businesses return to normal," said Kathryn Petralia.
Petralia is the COO and co-founder of Kabbage, an organization that provides business capital. It surveyed 550 small businesses across the country to get their answers about revenue and business operations.
Although many are back up and running, they are still playing catch up.
"Definitely businesses who were a part of travel are clearly really hard hit. There are tons of small businesses that provide food services to airlines or cleaning services to hotels, small restaurants that operate in areas where there is a lot of tourism, and Austin as you know has seen a lot of this," said Petralia.
However, she and many others still believe there is hope on the horizon as the vaccine gets into arms.
"There is a lot of pent-up demand, people are very excited to get back out there to go see a show," she said.
Easy Tiger has already opened two additional locations. They have adjusted to the new normal...and are hoping Austinites can back out in full force very soon, and safely.
"This is SXSW week, that was quite a blow to us and everybody in this business," said Norman, reflecting on the cancelation last year, and the event happening virtually in 2021.