Monday, July 6, 2020

Royal Puppies Closing ; Sets Up Go-Fund-Me To help with Debt and Personal Challenges

We know Covid-19 has been brutal on local businesses.  Here is an email that was forwarded to us about Royal Puppies (2000 S. Wabash) detailing the challenges:
I would like to thank you for your business and friendship during our time together in the South Loop, but it is with a saddened heart that I have to deliver this news: As of July 1st, Royale Puppies is permanently closed.
Our 3 year anniversary was in May and we had so many amazing things planned for you and your pups! My new team and I were working hard to organize exciting events and to improve all aspects of our facility. We upgraded our system, repainted the indoor park, redesigned our daycare and installed a new camera system for you to watch your pups, expanded our boarding, and even had plans with the Westminster Kennel Club to install turf so we could create an agility club!
One by one, people began to cancel on us. Our adoption event with L.E.A.D. Rescue was postponed. The Easter bunny was having second thoughts. The Westminster Kennel Club started working remotely and couldn’t find a way to deliver the turf... and then the lockdown happened.
For more than 2 months we were forced indoors and had to close up shop. We tried to stay positive and applied for the PPP like a lot of businesses did, we didn't get any funds!!!! . We waited patiently for the government to give us the OK to reopen. We looked at a lot of cool new products for your pups to enjoy once we could sell things again. Finally, it was announced that grooming was an essential service so we started taking appointments!
For two weeks we were booked non stop. What seemed like a blessing was actually part of the reason we had to close down. Grooming is only one part of our business and without the other parts we simply have too much overhead. But, because we were “operational”, our landlord expected their rent in full. And then, in the last weekend of May, the riots began.
From the security footage, the looting seems like it was completely opportunistic and not part of any protest that night. At around 1am, the looters broke the glass window next to the door and entered the building. They then proceeded to destroy or steal over $10,000 in property and goods. We submitted the footage to the FBI so hopefully they can catch these people, but there’s nothing else we can do about it.
With current affairs being the way they are, it is simply too much for us to bear. With our landlord unwilling to negotiate payment or terms beyond what we have now, having covid shut us down for 2 months, then the looting... all of it has left us very deep in debt. We took a long look at what reopening would look like, and we just couldn’t make it work. The damage had been done.
On top of all of this, some of you may know that I was diagnosed with cancer just last year and had multiple surgeries to remove it. With covid still being a threat for the foreseeable future, it would not be wise to continue working with a compromised immune system. I hope you can understand.
This community has been amazing to us and this is the last thing we wanted to do, but the debt that we have is so tremendous that we absolutely need help. We set up a gofundme page to pay down some of the debt and expenses we have incurred over the last months. Anything you can contribute is greatly appreciated.
These past 3 years have been unforgettable. Thank you all for your patronage, your friendship, and most of all, your pups who we will always hold dearly in our hearts. Give them a belly rub for us. We will miss them the most.
Please consider helping us

(Hat tip:  ME, SD, LA!)

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