NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — About eight months after a deadly tornado outbreak in Music City, there’s still visible damage to parts of East Nashville.
When you combine the storm damage with a global pandemic, some small businesses on that side of town will tell you they’re lucky to still have their doors open. One of them is Franny’s House of Music on Holly Street.
Franny’s employee, Ellen Angelico, says she remembers when the tornado hit on March 3.
“We needed new siding, new windows, doors,” Angelico said. “It was a project. Everything needed to be cleaned and painted.”
Then, when when the pandemic hit a few weeks later, Angelico described it like a “double whammy.” Franny’s had to close their doors for three months to re-build and protect their customers from the virus.
Down the street, MOAB Bike Shop had to pivot their business model to stay afloat. Manager Xavier Solis says they kicked their repair shop into high gear.
“Service. Service kind of got us through and saved us for lack of better terms for sure,” Solis said.
Solis says they lost power for several days after the tornadoes and could only operate by the light coming through their front windows.
Then when COVID struck, bikes sold out while people were quarantining with limited options for exercise. Eventually that lead to a breakdown in the supply chain.
“So new bikes started to become a conversation of ‘sorry we can’t get those for a while.’ So customers were either digging out of their garage, or wherever they store their bikes, and saying ‘hey please fix this old bike.’ Or they were buying them in disrepair and we were fixing them up,” Solis said.
Back over at Fanny’s, Angelico says they turned to online sales, delivery and the power of social media to get them through. Solis says they also implemented curbside pick up at the bike shop.
Both Solis and Angelico are encouraging people to spend money at their local stores, boutiques and restaurants heading into the 2020 holiday shopping season.