Fort Worth business owner faces new challenges while reopening during COVID-19 pandemic

Business owners are fighting a battle between keeping themselves, workers and shoppers safe while also trying to keep their shops afloat.

First, there was the hardship of being shuttered for weeks. Now, the new challenge is operating as safely as possible while trying to make it financially worthwhile.

Toys Galore in Downtown Fort Worth and a few shoppers at a time are once again welcome.

Just around the corner, the doors at Schakolad Chocolate Factory are back open as well.

Lindsey Ross owns both shops. 

“I do worry about it. It’s a heavy responsibility,” she admitted. “I want to keep my staff safe and their families safe and also our customers, so that’s a very stressful thought to have.”

Ross applied for financial assistance through the Small Business Administration but has yet to be approved for any loans. As well, she’s a single mom with two small children.

Ross is carefully managing safety while at the same time trying to generate business. It’s especially challenging with the toy store.

“That’s hard because one of our biggest things is we always have things open so you can touch and feel and play, which helps us to sell products,” she said. “So we have had to put up everything because we want to discourage that right now, obviously, just because we want to be as careful as we can.

Ross says they are encouraging customers to wear facemasks.

“My staff will be wearing facemasks in the store. They’ll be wiping down anything anybody touches. We are sanitizing again just to be extra safe. We’ve got sanitizer by the registers,” she said.

Playing it day by day, Ross is optimistic.

“Just thinking positive and encouraging people to be safe and creative,” she said.

Ross had a bit of optimism recently. After being turned away by a couple of lenders, she's now being told her PPP loan application at a third bank is being processed.