Interviewing for Story With Business Owner Mr. G
Hello my name is Vanessa Williams and I'm here with Gafield Williams and he will be sharing with us how the pandemic has affected him and his business Hello my name is Gafield Williams otherwise known as Mr g from a lot of people around me, umh okay so what type of business do you own I own a child care center called Lil Explorers Saint Cloud is located in Saint Cloud. [ Vanessa Williams] Okay so, how has the coronavirus impacted your business? [ Mr. G] Um the coronavirus really impact your business um right now we're running at about 30 -35% capacity from where we used to run close to between 90 and 100 percent so that's a big difference at this time moment um we also have to do a lot of things differently from what we normally do. We got to put a lot of things in place and overall the overhead cost and that can be pretty expensive. [ Vanessa] Okay so from a logistic point of view, how has your business operation changed? [ Mr. G ]Our hours of operation we have to change and cut back the kids have to wear masks teachers have to wear a mask as well and the parents they don't come inside the building but upon approaching the building they still have to wear their mask um we don't do tours um during the week anymore we gotta do that on a weekend where there's nobody in the building and also everybody got to get a temperature check hand sanitized a lot of hands wash which can be very costly to the business [ Vanessa} What kind of support or help have you guys gotten from either the government or the customers themselves? [ Mr. G]well the customers themselves um is doing the best they can because
most of them don't have a job right now but we get a lot of help from the state where they try to um give us a loan PPA, the state, and the government and all seal from our government kids they still try to pay us even though most of the kids are at home right now so those are the three things that try to they're trying to help us out to keep us and keep us open right now they also help to provide um gloves hand sanitizer and mass as well so with this pandemic going around I know it can be a bit of a burden because we can't business isn't running as usual. [ Vanessa ] So how do you and your team or the staff at the daycare how do you guys stay motivated? [ Mr. G ]Uh it's tough to stay motivated but um from a management point of view I try to keep I stay motivated and by doing so the staff would be motivated they feed off management, so if we try to do things for them with them together then it gives them a little bit of hope to keep going knowing that we put all these things in place and try to help them on a personal level as well to give them confidence in order to still come out to work every day. [ Vanessa Willams ] Okay, Okay so when do you predict things will get back or things will be running as usual? [ Mr. G ]Uh it's very hard for me to say because we got to follow um CDC guidelines and you know once we follow those guys lines right now we just gathered us play it by air and wait for them to give us the okay say well things can go back to normal well we know From the CDC point of view, kids don't really contract the disease that easy as too older people so we should be able to get back to normal business a lot quicker than the general public itself hopefully by then that we have more than enough people vaccinated and so we can get back to normal.
[Vanessa] I know you said that you had some help with the government but what resources have helped you or has been the most helpful towards you and your business? [ Mr.G ] Um community support the communities still support us without the community then we wouldn't be able to um stay open the trust that they put in us and the staff to still bring their kids so they can you know still get a break from them um get a break and also so they can continue to work so that how the the community itself I say the community really really support us right now in order for us to keep going. [ Vanessa ]Okay so, what advice do you have for other small business owners going through this pandemic? [ Mr.G ] Um it's hard every business is different um I don't know much about um other business because I've never been this is the the only business I've ever been into but just to hear what they're saying is can't able to function as usual can't keep the staff that they want to not getting the supplies that they really need to stay open and if they do stay open they have to uh open on certain hours so that cannot be hard on them especially the restaurant industry you only can't have a certain amount of capacity in order to feed so the waitress not getting the tip that they normally would get um they're not selling the food like they normally would so it takes a toll on those people you know so it's got to be hard on the rest of business out there [ Vanessa]so what would you say to them in order for them to stay motivated if they were listening now [ Mr.G ] um just be strong be wise you know I know you have certain things got to be
cut back in order to stay afloat, you just got to do that you know it's a no we have a lot of people been working with us for years and we don't want to let them go but in order for you to stay open you know it's hard to make that decision but you sometimes have to and hope when things better then you can go back and get those employees that would be been around with you for years that you know you work together with and can trust. [ Vanessa ] okay what are some things that you were able to do before the pandemic and now you can't which is probably changed the a part of your operation [ Mr.G ] Well would do things a lot different now um for little explorers um as a manager teacher we do we're very warm with the kids need loving they need special attention and stuff like that so now we can we don't go and hug as we normally do um little things that we use to do for the kids we can't do that anymore we gotta be mindful that's how we do it the smile on their each other face you really don't see that anymore when they're doing that the rewards that we give them you can't tell sometimes if they're really happy or sad because their face is all covered up [ Vanessa ] okay I see so now talking about getting into your personal life, how is it how has the pandemic affected your life with your family or just in general [ Mr.G ] um it do affect our personal life because things that we have planned like a vacation or want to go to different places to go out and eat just to spend time with the family is pretty tough um staying at home a lot more than we normally do weekends still at home you work all day and you can't you can't get to go out and play it's it's really hard and it takes a toll on your family just by locking up inside the house and that can be very hard at times you know you're doing something that you not used to or you what you never done before and now you're being secluded inside your home is like it's like a little your home but it feels like you're in prison at the same time because you're not used to it you're used to getting up you look out you look for the weekends to go here there to have fun with your family you're not doing that right now you want to make reservation or you want to fly to some special island or some special place you can't go because a covert and the the restriction that is out there you got to lookup everything first before you do anything see who's accepted which state or which country can you go in do you have to get a test before you get in do you have quarantine when you get there so even if you do get a flight to go somewhere when they get to that state they might have a 14-day quarantine place and you're only there for you only go in for maybe a week so it's hard to really take that step right now. [ Vanessa ]okay I see I understand so before you um how you were able to motivate the staff but on a personal level, how were you able to motivate yourself through the pandemic when you had to stay home and you, you're not able to go out so how do you stay motivated how do you stay motivated to keep your staff motivated [ Mr.G ] um that was very tough for me to stay motivated I got to do a lot of chores around the house do more than i normally do or do one chore twice just to keep going and to keep the staff motivated is to in spite of this pandemic try to see what kind of little incentive I could um just throw in there just for them to motivate them to make sure they'd be able to leave their kids in order to come to work um during the staff meeting we bring in a little brunch for them and you know they really appreciate that so start meeting you know not only to discuss whatever the plans are and where we're going with it but at the same time encourage that to encourage them you know to keep going [ Vanessa ]okay so what would you say is the hardest or what was the hardest part of the pandemic for you? [ Mr.G ] the hardest part of the pandemic for me is wearing a mask um I don't like
it I know it's it's it's protocol right now um going to church going to church wearing a mask going to the stores wearing a mask i do have mine i don't wear it in my car like a lot of people do um i just put on my mask when necessary you know so i don't offend anybody and try to look out for other people but the worst part of it is the mass because i don't believe i should be breathing out and taking it back in at the same time i think that's have can have a long-term effect not on me but can be affecting a lot of people especially for what I think is the people who have maybe asthma and um and stuff like that I think later on it's gonna be a big bigger problem. [ Vanessa] okay yeah, I can see and I understand how like breathing in and out from that same mass you're not really getting enough oxygen or um in or out of your system and you're just kind of breathing in the same area you're breathing out which isn't really healthy for you okay so how has your family reacted to the pandemic? [ Mr.G ] um for my family it's pretty hard especially for my mom, it's a lot harder she's way up there in age and also what makes it hard we lost um three members of our family one aunt and two uncle which was on my mom's side which is her two two brother one sister so it makes it hard for her um even though they didn't really died from covert due to um do didn't really die from covert but it also make us where we couldn't say our goodbyes to them my mom couldn't say goodbye to her sister and her brothers so at that period of time it really take a toll on the family itself to pull together to understand what is going on at the same time and trying to get closure hopefully someday we can get you to know the necessary paperwork and autopsy and stuff like that do you know so we can get a better medical report as to what is their true cost of debt right now and hopefully we can um able to have a little service for them and you know really send them home in a decent way to be with the lord [ Vanessa ] Yeah I know losing a loved one to the epidemic or not even knowing what they um, how they pass is really hard and on top of that not being able to go to a future or have a funeral for a loved one it's even harder to go through because you can't really let them go properly. Well talking let's getting out of the sad part of our interview what is it that you're hoping for in the future, when do you, see this pandemic coming to a closer or do you even see the pandemic coming to an end [ Mr.G ] uh for sure it's coming it will come to an end is a matter of um when and I know that when is closer than we think um I'm a spiritual person and I believe um that would happen that would happen in due time we trust in the lord and we know why we don't know why the pandemic is here he knows why it's here we could say a lot of different reasons it was man-made or not and stuff like that but if you believe if you believe in the bible if you believe in the lord jesus christ himself then you will know that all these things already he already know what is going to happen before it's even happened and he already know the date and all that when it's going to come to an end if he if he's he so chooses so all we got to do is um be strong be faithful be uh be uplifting help each other understand what is going on most of these things that is happening in today's world is being written it's in the bible so from a biblical perspective um I do believe that the bible will fulfill fulfill his words his true meaning on right now okay so how can you say before when the pandemic started how was your life before to now oh the before the pandemic um we didn't worry about anything I don't know where you go how close to getting to people um what to do your vacation was planned and everything was good to go now the pandemic is here everything got to be looked at in a different way before you do anything you got to think about it and you got to really really plan it out because you don't want to go somewhere and when you get there they tell you i'm sorry it's closed here we're not we're not sure when we're going to be opening or if you try to take a vacation you spend a lot of money on playing fear and stuff like that you get there you won't be to do much so before it's just like you wake up tomorrow morning you want to go to Paris it was good to go now you for you to go to paris or any other destination you know that you so chooses you gotta um really really think about it and you really really have to calls makes all it connects all the dots so when you get there you're having a problem and that also if you do get there when you also were able to come back the date and the time that you so wish to come back because sometimes right now you might be in a certain country or a certain place but then they won't let you go at the time that you choose. [ Vanessa]okay so how would you say the beginning of the pandemic to now
what is the difference between the two? [ Mr.G ] the big difference you didn't see any mask before now everywhere you go see mass signs put up all over the place everybody got to take temperature check before they get in and wherever you go right now hence everybody washing their hands more than normal wouldn't normally do um before that everybody was just freelancing with everybody just going here and there didn't really care about each other and stuff like that bump it into each other and stuff like that now if you're walking down the street and you see somebody coughing everybody like turn around looking at you and stuff like that and try to distance themselves from you even if they have a mass or you have a mask they still try to look at you and distance themselves from you because nobody wants to get what is called corona and everybody is looking at life a little bit different everybody is much more cautious now as to pretty much everything they do from going into the store what they pick up what they touch and make sure the minute they get out of the store get to their cars and everybody hand sanitizes and stuff like that before you know they get in their car or when as soon as they get to the car as soon as they get home most people I know take their clothes off in the laundry and then move into the house get a shower more than usual and stuff like that where gloves pretty much to the store to get all their stuff come home still wearing gloves and trying to educate each other right now.[ Vanessa] Okay well I'm glad that we were able to sit down and talk and have this interview I really appreciate you spent taking the time out to give us some more information on how coven 19 affected your business and as well as yourself and your family and how it just affected your life entirely and I just want to say thank you and I really appreciate you giving us your time. [ Mr.G ]Ah not a problem I really appreciate it's nice talking to you
and I hope to talk to you again soon [ Vanessa ]okay thank you.