Local business finds silver lining after losing revenue during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Because of COVID-19, wedding venues and other event centers are seeing a massive decrease in business and in some cases, no business at all. NewsChannel 9’s Julia Leblanc spoke with those who own Sky Armory to see how it’s impacting them.

The owners of Sky Armory say there is a silver lining: Epicuse, their new market and cafe they just opened up in November. While the sales from this place may not make up for the quarter of a million dollars they’re losing right now, it’s keeping them on their feet for now. 

Many may recognize Sky Armory, which is located right in the heart of Armory Square. It is known for its weddings, corporate events, and galas, all of which are put on hold or canceled because of COVID-19.

“We feel really badly for our bridal couples. Just trying to ease their pain as much as possible and being fair about it,” said Nicole Samolis, President and Owner of Sky Armory and Epicuse.

March and April weddings are canceled and now those scheduled for May and June are starting to do the same. With that side of the business now on hold, Samolis had no choice but to temporarily lay off 55 people.

“When you’re running a business, you need to have cash flow, protect cash flow, and then minimize your expenses when you come into a crisis mode. And so the human factor is usually the biggest expense for most companies,” Samolis said.

A hard hit for Sky Armory.

But their saving grace is their new market and café they just opened up in November in downtown Syracuse. 

Samolis said, “I think it is a silver lining for us, it’s been able to keep our team, some of our team still working, keeping revenue still generating into our coffers, and so at the end of the day, it makes me feel better.”

Filling different needs as they move along, serving pre-cooked meals, pantry items, and now, even toilet paper and cleaning supplies. A spike in demand Samolis never expected for this side of the business, but she feels lucky to be able to serve people in need.

“We just appreciate people who are supporting local businesses and we encourage people to support all the local businesses,” said Samolis.

Samolis is also now able to sell wine and spirits in Epicuse. She says once this is all over, there will be a spot for a café with seating. She says they’re also now selling Girl Scout Cookies to help out the girl bosses she knows will be struggling this season. Those proceeds will go to that organization. 

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