The issue for concern is cross contamination between clients & staff. We felt that closing was the responsible thing to do in order to do our part in reducing the spread of COVID during this crazy pandemic. I wish I could have found an ethical way to avoid closing- but i just couldn't put our clients and staff at risk.
My husband and I opened Bark Avenue 8 years ago and have put our heart, our soul, and our savings into it. Additionally we have made a lot of sacrifices over the years to keep Bark up and running. It is my passion and I love it more than anything, but it has never been "easy". And now I can honestly say I am not 100% confidant we will recover from this. I am hopeful- but uncertain. And I am scared about that.
With no revenue coming in, that means I can not afford to pay my team of 18 staff, who honestly are like family to me. Our payroll is high, running typically 70-75% of our revenue. Currently I am still responsible for continuing to pay thousands of dollars in rent for both of our retail spaces, in addition to a few other expenses like insurance and utilities. Asking for help is something that is very hard for me, as I pride myself on being a hard worker and not relying on other people. I am also aware that many of you are in similar situations or have close family and friends in similar situations.
However, I have been touched by the amount of people offering to help, and I realized maybe now is the time to ask for it. At the very least, if I can help my staff out by giving them a little bit to survive on, nothing would make me happier. It is them that keeps me up at night. knowing that even before this happened, many were living paycheck to paycheck. I have such an incredible team of loving, hard working, dog loving staff. I am heartbroken at what they are now going through themselves.
Should you be in a financial situation to help out by donating to our staff relief fund, we would be more than grateful. The goal I set is high, but that is what it costs for one round of payroll. 100% of the funds raised are going to go directly to the staff. ( I will be mailing them each a check). If we do not reach that it doesn't matter. Anything will help us. And if you can not afford to donate at this time, please know I understand, and if I can help you in any way please let me know. We are all in this together and as a community are here to support one another.
Additionally, just have to say I can't thank you enough for the emails & kind words you all have sent to me over these past few days. It is very heartwarming to know that Bark Avenue is so loved by so many. I still can't believe this is our current state of the world right now, and I hope we all get through this and we all stay safe & healthy.
Myself and the staff miss you and the pups very much! We hope we can see you again very soon!
With Love & Wiggle Butts,
Owner- Bark Avenue Doggy DayCare
- Michelle M
- Happiness Dept
- Jenna Wienbar
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