Local business owner working to pay employees despite being shut down

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Local businesses are trying to stay on their feet while doing what they can for their employees during the coronavirus crisis.

Event planning businesses like Ashley & Co. in College Station are taking a hit because of COVID-19 concerns and orders banning more than 10 people from gathering.

Owner Ashley Sanders says in just a few short weeks her business has been flipped upside down.

"By March 16 all of our events had canceled," said Sanders.

Sanders says that's more than 80 events, including weddings and fundraisers.

"We are just 100% shut down. There is nothing we can do within our industry, within our job, that can generate revenue right now," said Sanders.

One employee, Kelly Markwood, says when the cancellations started rolling in so did her worries.

"There was a lot of concern of will I have a job in the next few months? Will there be that cash flow? What do I need to start doing," said Markwood.

Fortunately, Sanders says she started crunching numbers and preparing as soon as the cancellations started.

"We look at our employees more like family and we wanted to keep everybody on the payroll. We want to come out of this with our team in tact," said Sanders.

Sanders says she's developed a three-month plan so she can continue paying her staff while the business is closed.

"We hope that in three months, if not sooner, we can start working again," said Sanders.

In the meantime, Markwood says they're still interacting with clients from a distance.

"We're still doing emails. We're still doing calls. As soon as the office is back open, we're going to hit the ground running," said Markwood.