When your entire business is built around getting people together for a shared experience, the stay-at-home order North Carolinians are under can be devastating.
“It has completely stopped our business,” David Moody said. “Typically, spring is our busiest time of year, every bus would be on the road and, right now, there’s nothing on the road.”
David and his brother, Jonathan, run Holiday Travel, a company begun in 1978 by their maternal grandparents, Dwight and Nancy Thompson, and engendered great loyalty among their more than 275 employees.
“We’ve got tour directors who’ve been with us over 30, drivers who’ve been with us 20, 25, 30 years,” says Jonathan.
The shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for the business – spring is typically their busiest time of the years, with school trips, the ACC tournaments, Furniture Market and other events – but also because of what was just delivered.
“We just had five brand new buses delivered, ready to go for spring and they never got to get put into service,” says Jonathan.
They are trying to take advantage of what the government is offering.
“We’ve started the application process for the paycheck protection program but that’s an eight-week grant that we’re going to give us,” says David. “If this doesn’t return in eight weeks, I’m not sure what we’re going to do after that.”
But he does know what regular people can do to help.
“Right now, everybody’s just canceling. But if they’d reschedule for the fall or later in the year, then that would be a great help to us,” says David.
Because, in the end, Holiday Tours offers a communal experience for the communal instincts in all of us.
“I’d love to see us come out of this able to reconnect, able to share those experiences again,” Jonathan says.
Hear what the Moody brothers say their buses can do to help during these tough times in this Small Business Spotlight.