NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — There are roughly 6,000 small businesses in the New Braunfels area and city leaders believe they’ve all been impacted in some way by the Coronavirus crisis.
The New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation describes small businesses as the backbone of commerce in the Hill Country. Right now, they’re working to recover.
Wednesday, the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce recognized a downtown business for their role in both the economy and community.
Just after noon, the ladies of 2Tarts received a sweet surprise.
April Ryan and Ashley Landerman were named the Small Business Persons of the Year by the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce.
“I think it’s just even more meaningful for us to get this right now,” said Landerman. “It has been really hard and we have been seeing a lot of businesses close their doors.”
A drive-by celebration where Chamber members honked and cheered, put a twist on the yearly award presentation. The distanced interaction served as a reminder that the entire community is learning to adapt.
“We thrive and this town runs on our small business people. It's been a very tough environment,” said Stephen Brockman, the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Leadership and Small Business Programs.
“The past couple months, we don't hear quit out of our businesses here. We hear ‘how can I make it work and what should I do to make it better?’ That’s what these two ladies right here represent," he said. "They've gone through a lot over the past 10 years and continue to come out on the other side stronger.”
Since opening 2Tarts in 2010, the sisters have sprinkled their community with generosity in the form of donations to area non-profits and mentorships for youth.
The New Braunfels natives implemented changes during the coronavirus crisis by scheduling a skeleton crew and offering cupcakes curbside.
“The people I'm most concerned about out are the 30 people that work for us,” said Ryan. “Making sure that they're staying safe, that they're staying healthy.”
The ladies say they want to continue rolling out pastry dough and fondant, hoping their bakery brings some sweetness and joy to their customers. They’re also rolling with the punches as the economy hobbles along.
“The past six weeks to have been extremely tough for us,” said Landerman. “This is a crazy time in the world but we still need to celebrate birthdays and we still need to celebrate life.”
This year, life brought 2Tarts a citywide recognition and will bring the bakery’s 10th anniversary in July.
“I feel like this award, ten years in, is like the cherry on top of a cupcake because we put in the work and it's just so nice to be recognized for that,” said Ryan.
The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce has facilitated the Small Business Person of the Year award annually since the 1990s. Forty individuals from 25 businesses were nominated for the 2020 recognition.
“Over 99% of the businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. Over a third of those businesses are women,” said Brockman. “It's really, really neat that we are able to recognize a couple of hard-working women in our community here in New Braunfels.”
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