Fayetteville business owners optimistic a month into opening amid pandemic

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Opening a business during a pandemic can be a challenge and it has been for Tisha and Brian Mack. Fortunately, they've overcome those challenges, but not every business owner is as lucky.

"Hiring during a pandemic where it's so up and down. Someone may have the will and want to be available, but we're dealing with COVID-19," said Tisha Mack, owner of The Cave

A host of challenges hit Tisha and Brian Mack before they could even open their doors. The Fayetteville State University graduates say planning to open the full-service spa took two years. Then COVID-19 hit which delayed the opening date to January.

"Pulling permits, hiring staff, getting on specific room done in time, finding great top-notch therapists in time...we found them," said Brian Mack.

It's a full-service spa that serves all your pampering needs including a salt cave for respiratory issues and emotional support.

The owners admit that opening a business during a pandemic was a risk especially as many small businesses continue shutting down.

A survey released from the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development shows COVID-19 has disproportionately devastated minority-owned small businesses. Of those surveyed, about 60 percent say COVID-19 is to blame for their business closing its doors, even as most of these establishments have been open for five years or more. Finally, 70 percent of those who applied for relief grants said they received nothing.

Fortunately, business at The Cave has been steady since opening a month ago. The Macks are optimistic and relying on customers who have already experienced the spa to spread the word.

"We're shattering our numbers and reaching goals. We'll keep reminding the public how sanitary we are here and let them know it's very safe to come here to our establishment," said Mack.
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