Local trophy shops see major losses from canceled ceremonies amid pandemic


Local trophy shops have lost the bulk of their business in a matter of weeks – saying the coronavirus hit at the worst possible time.

February through June is typically the busy season that carries them through the rest of the year, but with many award ceremonies being canceled across grade schools, colleges and businesses, it’s not clear if or when they will make a full recovery for 2020.

Steve Johnson and his wife operate Wells Trophy Sportswear & Specialties in Greensboro.

They began seeing the impact shortly after stay-at-home restrictions went into effect.

“I’ve probably lost $45,000 to $55,000 of business in the six-week period,” he said.

Johnson took out a mortgage on the building to stay afloat.

Susie Kelly’s husband is the owner of Awards of Excellence in Greensboro.

They are trying to maintain after experiencing a drastic revenue drop in April.

“We did roughly about $2,000 in the month of April, and we typically would do anywhere from $65,000 to $75,000 in that month, so it’s a big hit,” she said.

Kelly says they are starting to receive orders from schools who are presenting end-of-the-year awards via video conferencing platforms.

Johnson is starting to see orders from companies requesting name tags and signage for COVID-19 guidelines.

People in the business of recognition also recognize how serious the virus is.

“One side of you wants to say we want all the sports to come back, we want life to go back as normal, but another [part] of you says we need to be more careful and we need to take our time at that kind of thing,” Kelly said.

FOX8 also contacted Greensboro Trophy.

Owner Roberto Cruz says his business has been closed since March 15, but he hopes to reopen within two weeks.

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