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Small business turns to technology as coronavirus hurts profits

Posted at 1:44 PM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 19:20:52-04

KANSAS CITY,Mo. — The cancellation of events because of coronavirus concerns has forced one small business to think out of the box in generating business.

Home décor and furnishing store RE was supposed to be featured at the Kansas City Home Show. The event was canceled as a way to prevent large crowds of people from possibly being exposed to COVID-19.

In an effort to make the most out of a bad situation, a virtual home show was created to still get exposure from potential customers.

"If we put ourselves out there virtually, we can educate and we can interact with them still," said Chrysalyn Huff, who co-owns the business with her husband, Jeff. "We can still feel connected to our community, because our community is important to us. It's what supports our business."

The business has been around for nine years and Huff said since news of the coronavirus outbreak, business has been hard hit.

"Our sales are already down 48 to 50 percent," Huff said.

Customer Lauren Massey and her friends choose to shop local to help businesses like Huff's during the uncertain time.

"We just went and grabbed breakfast from one of our favorite local spots down the street and coming here was important too because this is a business I support," Massey said.

As the virus is expected to get worse, Huff said their strategy will shift to selling more items online.