Covid never ends with love and friendship

For José Restrepo and his wife Leidy, who opened a flower business for the first time in the middle of last year, this weekend of love and friendship has been the most anticipated in a long time.

“Getting the roses ready for Valentine’s Day, getting ready for this big party,” said Restrepo, owner of the Empire Floresta florist.

The couple says that since they started in this place on Jamaica Avenue, in Richmond Hill, sales have been minimal.

There are days when the business does not produce more than $ 200 and in order to maintain the premises and his family, Restrepo has to work as a taxi driver.

But he hopes that this weekend everything changes.

“We expect many people, we want to attend all, all of Jamaica, hopefully they will come here we have flowers for everyone,” added Restrepo.

This couple recently invested about $ 4,000 in merchandise.

“We had not made such a large investment because we have only been in this business for about six months and we did not know what it was like,” Restrepo explained.

The goal … to double the investment.

“But thank God we have had a very good response from the people here,” said Leidy Vallejo, co-owner of the business.

Your customers spend between $ 10 and $ 75.

“I can’t spend a lot because there is no work now. Thirty dollars, ”said client Carlos Chalen.

And although the situation on the street is not so good financially … some owners of similar businesses in the area assure that this celebration is different.

“Well, the covid never ends with love and friendship, on the contrary,” said Margarita Páez, owner of Margarita Event Decor.

Páez opened this event decoration and flower shop on Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill about two months ago.

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Margarita says that she is surprised with the sales this weekend.

“We have many orders, many ‘deliveries’ and people since last night, we had to leave around 10 at night that we were already tired, but tomorrow we will be here from eight in the morning and we don’t have time to close.”

In order to meet the demand, he had to increase the staff.

“They are my right hands, she is Sonia, she is Magali. And they band like two lionesses (to) make those flowers, “said Margarita.

Despite the pandemic, with the encouragement of sales for Valentine’s Day, these small entrepreneurs see a future in their businesses.

“Our goal is for this business to start and that we can generate employment for more people,” added Restrepo.

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