Beloved Houston tailor feeling hard impact of pandemic: 'We need help'

Friday, December 11, 2020
Beloved Houston tailor feeling hard impact of pandemic
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The owner of Mr. Santos Fashion Designs was once voted the best tailor in town, but he says he's barely staying afloat due to the pandemic.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An economic report conducted by Yelp shows about 800 small businesses are closing every day due to the pandemic and lists Houston as the 6th hardest hit metro-area in the United States.

Santos Cavazos has owned Mr. Santos Fashion Designs for almost 40 years.

"Nothing makes my day than to have a customer or two say, 'Thank God. Maybe tomorrow will be better.'"

Like many local small business owner, Cavazos is struggling to get through each week.

"Everything is at a standstill. That's why we're falling," he said. "We need help. We need the help to survive."

According to Houston's Small Business Administration, sources have noted more than 2,000 local businesses have shut down permanently and roughly 1,000 more have closed temporarily since the pandemic hit Houston.

More than 126,000 businesses in the Houston District received SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans, and another 110,000 received SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help stabilize their businesses and keep employees on the payroll.

Small businesses like Mr. Santos Fashion Designs make up 50% of Houston's workforce, according to Greater Houston Partnership.

The organization presented a report this week that reveals Houston businesses need more COVID-19 relief to bounce back.

Cavazos agrees. He said the business is just not coming in and bills keep mounting up. He was once voted the best tailor in town and now, he may be forced to close his shop indefinitely.

A neighborhood friend, Jonathan Miles, created a GoFundMe to help get Cavazos through these tough times and to help him stay open at least until the summer. The goal is to raise $50,000.

When Miles spoke with ABC13 Thursday afternoon, the account has raised $1,980.

"He's been a part of their lives and part of Houston for that time, so from my stand point, I just don't want to see that go away," Miles said. "At this point, anything we get will really help."

If you're a small business owner in Houston and are looking for COVID-19 resources, start exploring your options here..

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