CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Event venues and catering services are feeling some of the biggest impacts from the coronavirus. Many of their businesses have come to an abrupt halt after postponements or cancellations due to the coronavirus.
The owner of SMS Catering Services, Bob Freeman, says they are the oldest catering company in Charlotte. In his 50 years of business he has never seen it this bad.
Freeman said it’s extremely difficult for them because their entire business caters to large groups of people.
“Everything we do is usually 100 or more people,” Freeman said.
Just this weekend Freeman said they had to postpone five events. In total, they had to postpone nearly 35 events or catering services.
But they haven’t given up. Bob Freeman’s son, Robert Freeman, says they are still trying to offer alternatives to groups less than 50 people.
“Instead of doing eight or 10 to a table, you can do four or five people and set them around the room,” Robert Freeman said.
Both Robert Freeman and his father are fortunate though. Bob Freeman says while working another job, he put every penny into SMS Catering and the business is completely debt free.
“We have no mortgage payment or lease,” Freeman said.
Right now, Freeman said their main expenses are utilities and other small items. Spectrum News asked how many other businesses he knows that are debt free.
“I don’t know of any,” Freeman said.
Freeman said he believes they can survive a whole year-and-a-half if things continue the way they are. He said most other companies aren’t this fortunate and could go under.
“If you are planning a wedding, or whoever you are doing business with, make sure they will be there when the time comes,” Freeman said.
Freeman said he and other small business owners are looking forward to the GOP stimulus package that is expected to give financial assistance to small businesses and individuals. Congress is expected to vote on the package Monday.