Laramie Business In Danger Of Closing
A Laramie business is pleading for help from the community.
To all our friends, family, fellow business owners, associations, and loyal customers in Laramie:
Many of you have seen how far we have come with this company, the trials we have faced, and how successful we have become over the last 2 and a half years. Many of you have helped make this possible, helping to grow this company…from its humble beginnings as a run-down, one-car operation with handwritten signs taped to the car, and homemade business cards…to an efficient, well managed two-car taxi and parts-running operation that has established itself as the #1 choice in Laramie for its services. We have been afforded the opportunity to realize Chantelle’s dream of running her own cab company, at the same time being able to pay our bills…while serving Laramie with a dependable, 24/7 taxi service. It has warmed our hearts every time to hear from others how we have been able to help someone in need or have created a safe travel alternative for many people, filling a void that did not dependably exist on a constant basis before. We have also repeatedly have been able to provide services for Interfaith of Laramie and have worked with the Laramie Police Department to help those in need and to provide an alternative to incarceration for others.
However, as with all small businesses in small towns, there are trying times and desperate times, regardless of how well you believe you have managed things. We now find ourselves in one of those times. Unfortunately, a series of events throughout the course of the summer has not only financially put our backs against the wall, but in a severe time crunch as well. A much worse than anticipated drop off in business in early summer, combined with several very costly vehicle repairs, personal medical emergencies, a forced relocation, and a rise in labor costs, taxes, and late fees has put us in a situation of needing to come up with substantial amounts of money in a very short amount of time, in order to avoid having to shut down (or be shut down).
Three employees have already lost or walked away from their positions due at least in part, to this financial crunch; if we close down, four more Laramie people will be out of work in addition to that. Laramie will also be without its primary (and only truly locally owned and operated) taxi and parts running service. On a personal note, Chantelle will have failed in truly realizing her dream of running her own successful business.
There are several things we have already done to right the ship. We have cut our material expenses in half. We are working with a skeleton crew to minimize labor cost. We have revamped our business model. We have decreased our prices and increased services offered. We have expanded our advertising area, and have begun offering discounts and VIP packages. As a result, we have already begun to bring in significantly higher amounts of business and begun to whittle down the debts incurred throughout the summer. Additionally, the end of August is when business nearly doubles once again, as is the cycle in Laramie. We strongly believe this business can continue to survive, be profitable, and employ people…but as long as we are forced to continue to play catch up, the situation worsens. In addition, there are aforementioned tax and State matters than must be addressed immediately, or our licenses will begin to be revoked and we will be forced to shut down regardless.
Unfortunately, as mentioned before, we are in a hole personally and professionally, that is nearly insurmountable with the amount of time we have left on a few of the debts. We have nearly $5,000 worth of debt, vehicle repairs, supplies, taxes, and licensing that need to be taken care of immediately or we will not be able to continue operating. We are not able to acquire any kind of business loans. We have investigated and exhausted nearly every option available to us, and are now turning to the community for help, in the form of purchases and donations.
We are not without something to offer. Firstly, we are making a few personal sacrifices and are selling a few items of ours of value to anyone interested. These items include: (1) LG 60” Plasma TV, Like New condition. Valued at $900-1100. Selling for $700. (2) Xbox 360 Kinect Special Edition, 250 GB HDD, two controllers, HDMI cable. 6 Mo. Old. Valued at over $300. Selling for $180. (3) Peavey XXL 100W Half Stack, good condition. Valued at nearly $400. Selling for $250. (4) 30 gallon aquarium w/all accessories (heater, power filter, sand, ornaments, lighted lid) and over a dozen mixed African Cichlids. Selling for $200. In addition, we are still offering VIP packages as listed on our website at htshuttle.com. A $100 fee gets you free, unlimited in-town rides for 45 days, no questions asked. A $200 fee gets you the same for 90 days. And to top it off, anyone who donates more than $300 will receive free, unlimited in-town rides for 6 full months. Of course, we are also seeking help of any kind in the form of goodwill donations at a website mentioned in the next paragraph. If you are interested in any of the above, or want to see if there is any other way you can help, please call the company line at (307) 343-4492 and ask for Chantelle or Matthew. If we are not available, please leave your contact information with whoever is on the phones and we will contact you ASAP. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to leave your contact information.
Most importantly, though, we have created a fundraising page atwww.gofundme.com/htshuttle. It's simple, easy to use, and only takes a few minutes. Remember, any donation, whether it's $5 or $500, goes a long way and helps us right the ship. Also, anyone who can share this site and spread the word about the fundraising effort would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Business owners or individuals, if they wish, will also be included in a list of thanks published both on our official website and our Facebook page.
The last thing we want to do is have to close down, or be closed down. Not only will it cost more people their jobs, but it will cost Laramie citizens and businesses that which we believe to be a necessary and needed service. This was a last resort that we have had to turn to. But not all good things have to come to an end. If we can make it beyond this, we truly believe we can enjoy many more years of serving the Laramie community. We appreciate each and every one of you, and hope that you believe in us enough to help make this happen.
Matthew and Chantelle
Here and There Shuttle, LLC