Surviving the Pandemic as a Small Business By Tina Chatmon & Carolyn Serpe











2020 started out with a bang for our small business. We had growth in 2019 and were excited to see what the new year had in store for us. We took our team to a trade show in January, and came back with fire under us to grow and become a better company. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much time to execute those plans. Mid March we had to send our team home, not knowing when they could return. Not knowing what this whole lockdown meant for our business and future.

Luckily, we were considered an essential business, as we provide uniforms for even more essential workers on the frontline of this pandemic. This was great news! We could still operate…even though things looked very different. Instead of having open doors and welcoming our customers with smiles, we were running out in the chilly spring air to exchange orders…wearing masks. Instead of going over details in person, we had to rely on phone calls, emails and messaging. Instead of being fully staffed, a couple of us were here making sure orders were getting fulfilled and communication was staying open. Slowly our team was able to return back to work. Some like normal, others less. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies were a smell in the air we had to get used to, but we had to make sure that everyone was safe.

We were one of the lucky small businesses to still see growth throughout this past year. This did not come easy. We did not sit back and let COVID break our spirit. We attacked!

Starting out with phone calls to our loyal patrons, sending letters reaching out to new customers, showcasing our webstore program and diving into online marketing kept us in the public eye and let everyone know we were still here and operational. These are all things we did to keep us moving in the right direction. Knowing that we could not survive if our customers didn’t is what sparked the Support Squad campaign. Through this program, over 2,500 transactions were made at 109 businesses all over Kenosha County.

We can not thank our community enough for joining together to make sure everyone makes it through this interesting time.

Please reach out for more information on how we can help you continue to fight through this ongoing pandemic through our webstore program

-Tina Chatmon & Carolyn Serpe

The Lettering Machine
725 50th Street Kenosha, WI 53140
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(This article first appeared in the Downtown Kenosha Magazine Vol. 14 Issue 1 2021)
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Photos by – featured imagine of Tina & Carolyn by Sam Vaughn of Bird of Paradox Studio
other pics by Donny Stancato