Like so many small business owners on Larchmont, the proprietors of Healing Hands Wellness Center, a massage and chiropractic center at 414 N. Larchmont Blvd., are struggling right now and wondering if they can make it. This weekend, word reached the Buzz that Healing Hands has launched a GoFundMe Campaign to help raise $250,000 to help it get through this challenging time, while its business has completely evaporated during the pandemic.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we put a lot of effort into making our facility safe by purchasing air purifiers for every room, massage table barriers for easy disinfecting, sneeze guards at the front desk and contactless payment methods. To manage the upgrades and the $250,000 in operating costs, we applied for grants to which we received zero assistance, and the PPP loan only offered six weeks of support. Sadly, we closed out the year with a $100k loss,” wrote owners Wyntress and Steve Gluck on the campaign page.
As a business, Healing Hands relies on rental fees from the workspaces it provides to massage therapists. At one time, there were twenty therapists using the spaces, but now they just have three, explained facilities manager Suzy Lewis, who spoke to the Buzz this weekend after the page was launched. Lewis has been working at Healing Hands since 2004; she joined shortly after it opened in 2003.
Lewis said she is worried about her future, as well as futures of the individual massage therapists, many of whom have been with Healing Hands for more than a decade.
“It’s a struggle. We are currently open, but also we don’t want to ask people to come in to get a massage,” said Lewis. “Everyone has to wear a mask through the whole treatment, but at the same time, many people are going without treatment because they are worried about exposure to the virus, even though we have ungraded the air purifiers in all the rooms. At this point, only people with a medical referral can get a massage, so we are down to just three therapists and it’s not enough to cover our monthly operational costs.”
Lewis and her bosses are hopeful the GoFundMe campaign will help them ride it out until the vaccine takes hold and infection rates drop significantly.
“On that note, we do not want to say good-bye,” wrote the Glucks. “We do not want our journey’s end to be “Thanks 2020. You won.” So, in one final attempt to remain your go-to Wellness Center, we have created this GoFundMe Campaign. According to the reports, life will not be “back to normal” until the fall months. The following amount would sustain our business until then and allow us to keep our doors open to the community. The Healing Hands team thanks you in advance for any donation size, small or large, and for spreading the word on our behalf. It will take a village to remain in the village.”
You can visit the GoFundMe campaign page for more information.