Thanks again to Aaron Rodgers for matching my $500k donation. Let's keep going.
Up next: The Clothing Center (East Brunswick, NJ)
Since opening in 1978, The Clothing Center has grown to become one of New Jersey’s largest independently owned men's and boy's clothing stores. They specialize in off-the-rack men's suits, custom suits, as well as tasteful casual wear.
My name is Steve Worby, owner of a small business in East Brunswick NJ. The Clothing Center will mark its 43rd year in business as of Jan. 2nd 2021, if we can hang on. We are a full service men's and boy's clothing operation. Offering clothing (custom as well) alterations and formal wear.
Our business was deemed non-essential on March 16th by order of a government mandate and we were forced to close our doors. This happening only 6 weeks after we had moved into a brand new and updated location.
As a recipient of the initial PPP, we were able to maintain our full payroll during the shut down. It also allotted us a bit more to pay a month's rent. During the shut down we lost all of our prom and wedding business, which is our busiest time of the year. As a result of the Work-From-Home mandate, we lost mostly all of our suit business. We officially began the struggle. Having a fully equipped tailor shop, tailors at hand and no sales I needed to find a way to generate business. Along with other ideas, I reached out to our local hospitals, St. Peter's and Robert Wood Johnson, both of New Brunswick NJ. Most gratefully, we were able to help St.Peter's during their own crisis. Our tailor shop went into full swing. Our tailors and staff, including myself were able to assist the hospital with 10,000 washable gowns they most desperately needed. It took us 6 weeks to complete the project and in a time of helplessness, it did a world of good for us by aiding our community in some small way. The project being over we were once again at a loss.
Government re-opened non-essential businesses on June 16th. During the summer months we maintained 30-40% our usual sales. It came from weddings that still wanted a somewhat "normal" feel to their special day. It came from offering high school students 50% off tuxedo rentals for makeshift proms that were being held. Then late October hit and the lights went out. We are now between 10-15% of usual sales and a very real chance of not surviving.
Each business that has been affected by the shutdowns has trickled down to us in one way or another. Work-From-Home -no business attire, proms/weddings cancelled - no formalwear rentals, restaurants closed- no sportswear. I can go on and on and on.
My employees who have been with me for 10,20 and some 30 years are still being paid. They are my second family and I am as loyal to them as they are to me. We have had a very viable business over the 43 years but we need help getting through the next 2-3 months. Any financial assistance will help at this point in time. It will help keep my payroll intact through January and pay some past due invoices.
It is hard for me to contemplate possibly having to shut my doors forever after a lifelong love of what I do. I try to remind myself every day that it no fault of my own. I have done nothing wrong. Yet my successful business is in grave jeopardy of not surviving government mandates and the pandemic. I owe money for the first time in my life. Asking for financial assistance is mentally and physically exhausting. I will not hesitate to forward any needed documents if we fit into your criteria.
It is out of my control and that in a nutshell is the most devastating of all. Thank you for this opportunity to tell my story. As a small and respected businessman, thank you for helping those in desperate need.
Be safe. Respectfully,