After 1 year and 3 months with its doors closed, its customers embraced the company’s decision to reopen its Irvine branch of DanceLova Dance Academy in California. The move was timely paired with the official announcement of DanceLova PLUS — its all-new teaching and learning platform for its dance education business.
IRVINE, Calif., Jun. 15, 2021 — AEBG had voluntarily announced the temporary closure of its DanceLova Dance Academy location as a much needed collective safety measure 3 days ahead of the later-mandated stay-at-home statewide executive order officially issued by the State of California on March 16, 2020. The difficult decision had been made out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the hundreds of Orange County customers it serves and values along with its employees, and the Irvine community in which it operates. Earlier today, excited customers celebrated the long-awaited reopening of the Irvine branch and praised the new DanceLova+ platform that it revealed in its announcement.
“Since its day one in 2012, our Irvine branch has been open for business without interruption. With the exception of holidays and the short breaks during summer and winter, dance classes are held 7 days a week,” Con told us.
Thousands of businesses across the U.S., including many dance studios have been left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy. Some have simply vanished overnight. We asked Mario Con, CEO of AEBG, if the dance education side of the business had been negatively impacted, and he said, “So yes, closing was a self-inflicted wound. Any wound is bound to hurt. But because we place the health and well-being of the folks that make our company great above everything else, and although the decision to close was difficult, it was also an obvious one to make.”
“We’ve always prepared for any rainy day, so we knew we’d very likely push through this and survive it. We willingly burned through our cash reserves that we had specifically budgeted for unexpected stuff like this. It’s math. It’s something I would recommend all businesses do. The key is to make it company priority to think about business continuity plans and contingencies long before they’ve actually happen. Yes, it’s the boring and less obvious work, but it can make the difference that matters in the end — it’s very important in any business.”
We decided to keep every employee on payroll, and never missed a rent payment. We believe that everyone has to do their part. It’s this philosophy that has kept us strong year after year.
When asked whether the company had decided to let go of any of its workers at any point during the half year its Irvine branch remained closed, Con added, “We decided to keep every employee on payroll, and never missed a rent payment. We believe that everyone has to do their part. It’s this philosophy that has kept us strong year after year. It’s just how we do business.”
According to the most recent Yelp Economic Average, as of August 31, 2020 a total of 163,735 U.S. businesses on Yelp have closed since the onset of the pandemic. That’s a 23% increase since July 10. Of those, 60% of those closed businesses will not be reopening. That translates to 97,966 permanently closed.
Con spoke some words of reassurance, telling us that he believes the business community as a whole is resilient and will come out on the other side stronger and wiser than pre-pandemic times.
“I strongly believe that time will reveal this fact again. Just look at history, and you’d agree with me,” he said.