Maurice Harris owns Bloom & Plume, a flower business with an adjacent coffee shop. Before the pandemic, his products were selling well and his social commentary was resonating. His Instagram page boasts hundreds of thousands of followers, and he’s a featured judge on the HBO show “Full Bloom.”
Harris now faces a sobering reality. “When the pandemic hit, we just stopped working because everything left and right was just getting canceled. Sister ‘Rona showed up and she was just like, shutting it all down,” he says.
He secured a PPP loan last year from the U.S. Small Business Administration, but says he’ll need additional federal dollars this year to keep his employees on payroll and his rent paid.