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Perfect Output, a veteran-owned and Black-owned company that provides other businesses with office supplies, printing supplies, printing equipment and training for how to use that equipment, was in a unique position than many other local businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown early last year.

Because most of Perfect Output’s clients are essential businesses, many of which are healthcare providers, Perfect Output still had a base of customers who were in need of the products they provided.

“We definitely had to make it a point to reach out to our customers and see how they were doing and let them know that we’re still operating and that we’re here to support them,” said Farrah Walker, owner and CEO of Perfect Output. “That definitely helped maintain our business.”

But their immediate concern was how they were going to continue to provide their services while preventing the spread of the virus and keeping their clients and staff safe as possible.

Perfect Output staff began working from home when the lockdown first took place and are now slowly coming back to the office at staggered times. While Walker said it is the best option safety-wise, she does miss the face-to-face excitement and collaboration with the rest of the staff.

To further reduce face-to-face contact, Perfect Output started selling their products online, which Walker said proved to be a great strategy for them.

“That allowed us to continue to thrive,” Walker said.

Walker said she wishes they would have spent more time looking into programs available to assist small businesses. Now, she’s making sure she and/or members of her team take advantage of available webinars, and she’s assigned a staff member to explore and find other resources that might help the organization grow.

She encourages other small businesses to not get discouraged if they have little luck with assistance.

“Tomorrow’s always a new day,” she said. “Though there might not be an opportunity for you today, definitely take a look tomorrow and see if there are some small-business-assistance programs out there.”

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