Ruth mentioned he has been within the enterprise for 30 years and noticed an enormous dip in earnings on the peak of the pandemic. He lowered his hours — some days solely profiting $100 after seeing two to a few prospects. He mentioned his enterprise has began rebounding as folks return to work.
“That cash got here at such a superb time,” Ruth mentioned. “I’m grateful to Roanoke County for that. I actually am. It makes me proud to have a enterprise in Roanoke County, as a result of they took care of me.”
At the start, Ruth noticed a 70% lower in enterprise, however that has rebounded to a couple of 35% lower, he mentioned. He plans to return to his common hours after Labor Day to organize for the autumn and winter, when the climate is rougher on sneakers and other people put on out their boots.
On Friday afternoon, Ruth had dozens of sneakers ready to be picked up as he labored on extra. The cellphone rang a number of occasions with prospects calling in for pick-up occasions.
“When the cellphone begins ringing, that’s when you realize,” he mentioned.
The town of Salem additionally arrange a enterprise grant program and has disbursed all $500,000 pledged from its CARES Act funding. Cynthia Shelor, chairwoman of the financial growth authority, mentioned town obtained 123 functions and awarded 100 grants.
“The response from the enterprise neighborhood has been constructive and plenty of have expressed they admire the help,” Shelor mentioned. “The town and EDA proceed to search for methods to assist our companies.”