With the close of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo 11 days early, there were a lot of disappointed business owners and vendors who make a sizeable amount of their yearly income at the annual event.
In the wake of the closure over concerns about the spread of COVID-19, a Facebook page called Houston Rodeo Vendors 2020 was set up and now has 159,000 members. Its purpose is to promote the goods of those vendors to those who might want to purchase them.
So far, the response has been promising.
Danni Jo Hinman posted about a large shipment of crystal necklaces she got the day before the rodeo closed. Less than a day later, she had sold out of them.
Candlelight Oaks resident Lori Araiza is planning to buy some taffy.
“That is our tradition every year,” she said. “(To) come home with a large bag of assorted taffy.”
Now, with the social distancing that is being encouraged and mandated by the City of Houston, local small businesses are growing concerned about their own survival.
Christina Martinez of Christina Martinez Consulting was talking with client Jonathan Kolmetz, who owns Oaks Wealth Management, about the current environment for local businesses. The result of that conversation was the “Help Greater Heights overcome Covid-19” Facebook group.
“Jon and I both work with local business owners and enjoy having a helping hand in seeing these people succeed,” Martinez said. “In a time where there might not be much help to give — other than staying home — we think setting up Help Greater Heights overcome Covid-19 is just one small thing we can do to help the small businesses we all know and love. These business owners answer every call for help with PTA donations, fundraising opportunities, and going above and beyond. It’s our turn to support them.”
The page will share updates on how residents can support their favorite neighborhood businesses within mandated regulations — like shopping online deals, ordering from curbside menus, buying online gift cards or sharing trusted content.
Local business owners can reach out via the page to ask for support. The page will also share good neighborhood news with the hashtag #GreaterHeightsStrong.
“Thank you for being there for small business during this difficult time,” said Susan Tate Aifd, who owns Darlene’s Flower & Gift Shop. “We greatly appreciate your help and assistance.”