CHANDLER, AZ — "Very proud to have this shop, very proud every day," said Lori Williams, owner of Flowers by Renee at the corner of Alma School and Queen Creek roads in Chandler.
The shop has been around for 29 years in the East Valley.
"I've been the owner for five years, but the shop has been at this location for 21."
Williams, along with her daughter Mellissa and her grandchildren Olivia and Nathan, has made their flower shop a community gathering. They befriend just about every customer who walks in the door. Williams says the pandemic has made this small business' survival a bit hard.
"We did have a decline in house accounts we service some of the major hospitals and those were shut down, so that was a little tough," said Williams.
Williams adds that surviving the pandemic is all due to the nine employees she has. She proudly states she hasn't laid anyone off even though her business has taken a hit.
"I think the employees are the backbone of the business. They are the ones that make it happen... So I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are taken care of in return," said Williams.
According to the Small Business Administration, there are over 550,000 small businesses in Arizona. There is an estimated 15% who have closed their doors for good.
"Stop by support a local business it's gonna make a world of difference... for someone's livelihood... We are not corporate America here," adds Williams. "I wanna make sure that my customers are happy- and they leave this shop and they have a beautiful arrangement."