KENTWOOD, Mich — Businesses are gearing up for Valentine's Day which is a little more than a week away.
Bing Goei, the long-time owner of a full-service professional floral shop in Kentwood, discussed the challenges his shop still faces now that the nation is almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The beginning of the pandemic was difficult for Goei and his shop called Eastern Floral on Broadmoor Avenue.
"Of course the extreme side of COVID was when we were forced to close and we couldn't do any business," Goei said.
He was forced to close his shop in March 2020 because of a statewide mandate. Since reopening his shop in May 2020, sales have been steady and he's far more optimistic about 2022 since he knows how to respond to the pandemic.
"We have been in this negative mindset for so long. I think it's time for us to say, you know, we've seen the resiliency of our community, our city, our state and our nation. Let's keep moving forward."
But he still faces some challenges, including the increase in the price of flowers caused by increased transportation and staffing costs and inflation.
Not being able to get certain products has been an issue as well. However, Goei said supply chain issues haven't really impacted his shop because of his strong relationship with his vendors, farmers and growers.
"Today at Eastern Floral at least, we'll have enough flowers and roses to be able to service our clients and customers," he said.
Goei thanks his community for shopping local and supporting a business that has been around for more than 70 years.
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