Pearland, Friendswood small businesses struggle after months of COVID-19

After seven months of COVID-19, small businesses are still pivoting, hoping to stay afloat. (Courtesy Pexels)
After seven months of COVID-19, small businesses are still pivoting, hoping to stay afloat. (Courtesy Pexels)

After seven months of COVID-19, small businesses are still pivoting, hoping to stay afloat. (Courtesy Pexels)

As the pandemic stretches on, many small businesses in Pearland and Friendswood are bringing in less revenue and struggling to keep the doors open.

After seven months of being closed to the public, Kid 'N Play Indoor Playground is considering closing its doors, owner Paul Davis said.

The business was closed for two months, in accordance the governor’s orders. But even once the state gave the green light to reopen, Davis still kept the business closed.

The family-owned and -operated business allows people to bring their children in to play in an educational environment. Because of the nature of the business, there is no way to socially distance the children, Davis said.

“People aren’t ready to risk bringing their kids inside,” he said. “I don’t want to put your kids at risk either.”


Summer is typically Kid 'N Play’s busiest time of year. But the absence of revenue for months, particularly over the summer, is causing Davis to consider closing or selling the business he has operated in Pearland for four years.

“The hardest part for us right now is that we know we had a successful business that has done well for us for four years, but we don’t have an option right now where we know what we are supposed to do,” Davis said.

While Le Papillon Children's Boutique in Pearland has also taken a hit since the start of the pandemic, owner Norma Guerra-Martinez said she is hopeful the holiday season will bring the sales the shop needs.

“That is the only thing we have going for us. We are hoping it will get us out of the red and into the black,” she said.

Le Papillon is a boutique that sells children’s clothing and toys. The business shut down due to state mandates in the spring, and once it was given the clearance to reopen, the store had to weigh if it was worth it, Guerra-Martinez said.

“When we were open, people weren’t buying,” she said.

The business has started doing more Facebook and Instagram posts in hopes of bringing people to the store, Guerra-Martinez said. However, the biggest help has come from being a member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, she said.

“I am so proud to be a member. They do come in and check on us, and they call us. That’s a huge thing,” Guerra-Martinez said. “That is how you keep a community together.”

For its part, Between Us Tea Room and Wine Lounge in Friendswood has added brunch service, owner Renita Bayliss said.

The tea room has also had more people reserve it for private parties, events and showers.

“Things are climbing a bit. It just depends on the day,” Bayliss said.

One of the adjustments Allegro Pearland Academy of Music has made is moving its orchestra practice outside.

“We’re definitely adapting. Everyone is just rolling with it,” owner Heather Scharbor said.

Allegro Pearland Academy of Music lost around half of its students after the pandemic hit in the spring, but the business has managed to survive so far, Scharbor said.

“We have a beautiful group of people that stuck with us and did lessons,” she said. “We have kids that come in for virtual lessons and kids that came in for in-person.”

While business typically picks back up in fall after school starts, Allegro has not had very many new students start, Scharbor said.

“I think it has been really stressful for parents, with [school] partially in person and partially virtual,” Scharbor said. “It’s been a slow trickle. We have lost kids due to parents needing to figure out the school year.”

Allegro requires students and teachers to wear masks and requires parents to wait in the car during lessons, Scharbor said. The business also started offering virtual lessons during the pandemic.

“Especially during the pandemic, it is demoralizing and scary and depressing and a million things, but I hope our program has provided emotional support,” she said. “When so many things were taken away, this was the one thing they kept—even if it was virtual.”
By Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. She was promoted to editor in February 2019. Haley primarily covers city government.


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