Last week, when the coronavirus pandemic struck LA hard and I was forced to (temporarily) close my stores, my whole team and I were operating in panic mode. How do we cope with losing our stores, our revenues, how do we keep paying our team in a business that is notoriously cash flow-dependent? How do we do right by our workmates and our partners, the creatives and designers who depend on us to pay our invoices so that they can pay their rent, buy food, go to the doctor?
It's been an incredibly stressful 13 days since we made the tough decision to keep our employees home, and an even more panicked and stressful 8 days since LA's Mayor Eric Garcetti commanded all non-essential businesses to shut down. While I and my team understand the need for social distancing for the good of public health, we could not help but wonder, like so many small businesses have wondered -- "How are we going to survive this? Will we have a job to come back to? Will we get evicted by our landlords for not being able to pay rent? How do I let down my vendors knowing that I can't make any payments?"
As the owner of LCD, I had to make the horrible decision to furlough all my employees. Without the brick and mortar stores, which accounted for 85% of our revenues, LCD would be bankrupt within weeks if I continued to pay our staff. It's been 8 days of mourning, of non-stop struggle. We moved all of our inventory into my house and cleaned out both stores so that I could continue to operate the online store from home. We ran a huge sale to try to shore up some short term cash so that the most urgent payables could be taken care of (PAYROLL).
Now the sale is over, and I'm trying to settle into this "new normal." What's rising to the top now, especially in the face of all the public food hoarding, is: what about those who can't wait in line at the grocery store at 6:30am? What about those who depend on Instacart or other food delivery services because they aren't able bodied or they're immuno-compromised? What about our elders? What about people who have jobs and can't afford to stand in line for 2 hours for toilet paper for their whole family?
We know that money is tight for everyone, and times are very uncertain, but if you have a secure job, money in the bank, and feel like you're going to make it through this thing ok, please consider making a donation to the LA Regional Food Bank. You can make donations directly to them at this link. Or, if you're here at our website shopping, 20% of any purchase you make from now until Tuesday March 31st will be donated automatically to the LA Regional Food Bank as well. It's a all a big circle and we want to help pay it forward.
$100 = 400 meals
The LA Regional Food Bank is working hard to meet the needs of those impacted by the Coronavirus, as well as individuals who typically need our assistance.
The Coronavirus is disproportionately impacting lower-income communities. School closures, changes in work schedules and social isolation are layering extra burdens on our neighbors throughout Los Angeles County.
Your gift today is vital to distributing healthy food for hungry neighbors in Los Angeles County. 97% of revenues go directly to our programs providing food for children, hardworking families, struggling seniors and more.