As Minnesota vaccination rate reaches nearly 70%, and the potential for a “normal” fall is in our sights, we are left reflecting on all of the changes that have taken place at Solcana in the last 15+ months. The pandemic has taken a huge toll on every small business, but it has also brought us changes that we are excited to make more permanent. We wanted to take a minute to share with you the hardships and the positives that have come out of this last year for our lil corner in Seward.
First, the hard stuff.
- In the first 3 months of the pandemic, we lost over 40% of our clients, 7 coaches, and a whole bunch of revenue.
- Over the first 6 months altogether we lost an additional 20% of our pre-pandemic clients.
- We were closed from March 13th – July 5th, 2020 and again Nov 24th – Jan 4th, 2021.
We struggled like all small businesses have throughout the pandemic. We continue to struggle as we work to right the ship and build the gym back up from these losses, and have had to make some hard decisions to stay afloat.
However, there are some major changes we’ve made in the business that we are very proud of and intend to keep moving forward.
This past year we…
- Dropped our CrossFit affiliation and took a firm stance against the racism in their organization.
- Founded the Gyms For Justice coalition and have been taking part in racial justice training for the past 8 months.
- Hired 5 new staff members.
- Started paying all of our staff (we used to have some ‘work for trade’ coaches).
- Increased all staff pay.
- Started offering 25% of membership in the form of sliding scale.
- Built an entire virtual studio and met new members from across the country.
- Introduced outdoor classes.
- Wrote entirely new programming to make the gym safer.
- Had ZERO cases of community COVID transmission.
We have received many emails and messages in the last year asking when we thought things would “go back to normal” or “be like before” and the reality for us is that we don’t want to lose any of the changes that we have made. It’s vitally important to our mission that we continue to pay coaches a living wage, offer sliding scale options, and offer virtual options as part of our business. Our hope is that these new pieces help elevate the business we have and continue to transform Solcana in positive ways.
Our hope is that you see the value in these things as well, and want to stick around as we continue to grow and evolve with the changing world. It’s been such an honor to continue to serve every one of our clients during this time, despite the up’s and down’s. Thank you for sticking by us and helping this place adapt and grow!