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How a Small Town Business Survived the Pandemic Shut-Down

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

If you happen to stop by 206 A Street in McGregor, IA, you will get a glance of the beautiful three-story building that is home to the "Paper Moon," an indie book and gift store filled with unique gifts and books. In 1994, the building was purchased by Ken and Louise White and after some remolding, the store was open to shoppers. Then, in 1997, Ken and Louise's daughter, Jennifer joined the business and helped to expand it into three stories of shopping fun.

With nearly 27 years of being in business, Louise and Jennifer have definitely experienced both good and bad times of being a business owner. However, nothing would be as challenging as trying to survive a pandemic that shut down nearly all small businesses. Thanks to the strong relationships that they have built with their customers, this mom and daughter duo was able to survive during trying times. "We had a couple customers who called and purchased gift cards for their family and friends as a way to help us stay afloat," shared Louise. "We were very grateful for the support of our loyal customers during the pandemic shut-down. Without their support, who knows where we would be today," continued Jennifer.

In addition to the support of their loyal customers, the team also began using a website. "Jennifer has always wanted us to have a website, but I was hesitant," shared Louise. After some research and support from their web team, Jennifer and Louise were up and running with "It was a hit," Jennifer commented. Their website began to drive sales from people all over the United States including California and Florida. Sales skyrocketed as the ladies began to send out nearly 4,000 items a month. Web sales have been down now that the store is open for in-person shopping, but they still see many people shopping online as well.

Despite a government shut-down, these dynamic women were able to survive and come out stronger in the end. If you are looking for a unique gift, head to the Paper Moon.

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