But above all, we need a strategy to support small businesses now, while they are closed, and also once they reopen. Offering loans will, in the end, hinder our success and add more stress to our already strained financials. Instead, we need to ensure that our businesses will be fully protected not only through this pandemic, but for any unforeseeable future disasters. We need rent abatement. We need grants that consider location (some cities are more expensive than others) and a better timeline to report losses. We need current loan payments and bills to be deferred until after businesses reopen. We need an economic stimulus for a percentage of lost sales. And we need paid leave for all hourly employees both full and part-time. This is what support would really look like.
“You get hired here based on happiness,” Jill Lindsey tells me as we sit at a picnic bench in the yard behind her eponymous Brooklyn shop on a truly glorious Saturday afternoon. In the four and a half years since she opened the shop, it has grown with the surrounding Fort Greene neighborhood and become a go-to destination for many in the area and beyond. Lindsey always knew that it wouldn’t be enough to create a pretty shop with beautiful things. “The whole store is wellness,” she explained. “It is what we put out into the universe, and how we want people to feel when they come in.”
Jill’s strong work ethic is evident as soon as anyone steps into the store. She glides around, moving from the garden to the bar to the clothing section, all while greeting customers to ensure a happy experience. In a space with a myriad of activities and selections for every customer, Jill inevitably remains the focal point. Customers can sit in the backyard garden with signature drinks from the bar, while the front of the store also provides seating among specially designed clothes, and the basement serves as the wellness center for everything from yoga to facials to psychic readings. We were invited to spend the day at Jill Lindsey in Brooklyn to experience a few of the services offered.