TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – When customers walk through the doors of Bedsprings and Burlap in Topeka, they are greeted with an array of furniture, paint, signs and custom pieces.
Jill Beam continued her passion of crafting and teaching in this seven-year-old business, after retiring as a teacher.
“I love getting to know people that I would never have gotten to know if I wasn’t doing this, and usually it’s people who love to create,” Beam said.
The shop’s most popular attraction are the art classes they offer.
“It helps inspire you to, like, ‘oh, I could do that,’ and then you take a class,” said customer Meredith McKee.
However, when the pandemic struck, Beam was forced to halt all of her classes.
Weeks later, she is back to holding classes, but can only accept a small portion of students for social distancing purposes.
“When you have a person-to-person business, that hurts you,” Beam said.
The store loses about 25% of their monthly revenue due to the smaller classes, according to Beam.
After being denied a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan during the first round in April, she is hopeful she will have a greater chance now.
President Donald Trump extended the deadline for small businesses to apply for the PPP in July, allowing them to apply until Saturday, according to the U.S. Small Business Association.
“[If] I knew that I had some help with funding to keep this space, that would be a big, a great thing that could happen,” Beam said.
As Beam awaits the results of her application, she said she was grateful to everyone who shops local.
“I think a lot of Topekans are wanting to support local, and so they’ll go into small shops and spend money just to help them,” Beam said. “It’s so appreciated. So just keep doing that and it will help some people get through this hard time.”
Beam’s customers reciprocate that same appreciation towards her and her business.
“It’s really unique and I’m glad that Topeka has a place like this to shop and hang out and take classes,” McKee said.
In the first round of PPP loans, almost 6,000 small businesses in Kansas received funding, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
This totaled to $4.3 billion, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R, Kan.) told KSNT News.