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Carrollton clothing shop owner struggling to stay afloat as coronavirus impacts small businesses

"We are fighting for our lives, our shops, our businesses, our families," Ruby Bhandari said.

CARROLLTON, Texas — Small business owners throughout the nation are struggling to stay afloat. With current social distancing rules, many businesses that are deemed non-essential cannot remain open. That is starting to take a toll and put owners in a tough situation between paying bills and laying off employees.

"We had about eight days to pay the bills this month," said Ruby Bhandari of Silk Threads. For 29 years, Bhandari has been designing and making very intricate wedding and formal dresses. Rent is due April 1st.

For Bhandari it was the perfect storm of events that has around 500 orders in limbo. Those orders depend on work from three countries also in the midst of a coronavirus crisis. 

"The factory is in India. The embroiders are in India and the fabric comes from China and Italy," she said. 

Bhandari told WFAA that silk is no easy fabric to get a hold of. She says because it takes three to five months to complete dresses, wedding orders for August through December are in limbo.

"That bride...she is worried about her wedding day," she said.

And Bhandari is worried about that, too. She says people entrusted her with being a crucial part of their most important days.

The $2 trillion stimulus package approved Wednesday carves out $367 million in a guaranteed federal loan for small businesses. The package allows businesses to defer payroll taxes, but they must pledge not to lay off workers.

"We are fighting for our lives, our shops, our businesses, our families," Bhandari said.

Bhandari said she will fight every waking moment to fill orders and hopefully avoid that uncomfortable conversation with brides that she may not have dresses ready on time.

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