Business owners soldier on: ‘Feels like it never ends’


Many local businesses have closed their doors for good

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon businesses are struggling to survive amid closures caused by the pandemic.

The owner of Oodles 4 Kids in Southeast Portland told KOIN 6 News on Wednesday she’s in the process of selling her business.

Carolyn Miye Sheppard has owned Oodles 4 Kids for the past eight years. She said she’s had to pivot so many times during the pandemic with all the changing regulations and shutdowns that she feels “dizzy.”

“Trying to run the shop by myself, it’s been a zoo,” Miye said. “And fighting to keep everyone safe through this, it feels like it never ends. This year has been a real challenge.”

Miye said profits have been down 50% some months. It’s a trend many local stores can relate to.

While some businesses are limping along, others have been forced to close their doors for good. Kellogg Bowl in Milwaukie has closed permanently, telling KOIN 6 News it simply couldn’t keep up with bills.

Other venues are just trying to outlast the punches. The Crystal Ballroom plans to reopen at some point when it’s safe to do so but in the meantime, it’s paying $70,000 a month on rent and utilities with no incoming profits.

“People need to support small businesses right now — if you spend a dollar at a small business then 67 cents of it stays in the community,” said Miye. “Really anything you can do to support small business, it’s so important for our economy and Portland and maintaining the Portland we love.”

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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