Small business struggles to pay bills first of the month

Rent due for struggling businesses

Fort Mill, SC (WBTV) - Wags and Whiskers is a doggie daycare facility in Fort Mill, South Carolina. It boards dogs for about $35 a day.

Shanon Little is the owner and says due to COVID-19, her business has been down. She was looking forward to board about 60 dogs for upcoming school spring breaks, but most of her customers cancelled.

“All of our kennels are not full at this time,” Little said. “That’s a big hit for us. Our holiday seasons are really tremendously big for us.”

Little now dreads the first of the month. That is when she pays her bills. This month she doesn’t have enough to make ends meet.

“The rent check is due as a matter of fact,” Little said. “I got to write that out in little bit and we’ve talked to our landlord and he’s forgiving. We’re doing half now.”

The owner plans to pay the other half of her rent as time goes on. She doesn’t know how long she can continue to pay bills with empty kennels. She has already cut three part time employees.

She is doing her part to communicate with her creditors to inform them what’s going on. She says soon she will make a decision about whether or not to close her doors for a little while.

“It will absolutely crush me,” Little said. “But trust me, we have been in touch with our insurance guys, my accountant, our bankers and we’re trying to fill out paperwork to get applications in - find every possible way there is - to try to keep the doors opening.”

The owner has been in business for about eight years and says she is now at the same amount of employees she had when she first started her business. She says she could be forced to let more of her staff go.

“It’s the longer term because the longer it lasts, is where we are going to start seeing the real heavy damage happening,” Little said.

Next door to Wags and Whiskers is Little’s new business - a dog washing business. It opened last August and already it had to be shut down because of COVID-19.

Little says with all this bad news when it comes to her business and paying bills - she is comforted in the fact her four-legged friends are there to support her.

“They’re happy and all they want to do is give you unconditional love,” Little said. “They want to give you kisses. They want to snuggle. They want to play ball.”

Little says customers are helping by doing what they can to help keep Wags and Whiskers open by offering the business to keep their deposits they gave to reserve their spot for Spring Break.

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