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Maryland-based Sugarplum Tent Company, a family-owned business that provides tents, lighting and dance floors for wedding and events, has had around 100 wedding and corporate clients postpone their events through June.
“We are working very closely with our couples to reschedule their tents and equipment to their requested new dates,” Tara Franklin, director of sales at Sugarplum Tent Company, told FOX Business, explaining that clients won't be burdened with fees.
“There are no financial penalties, we understand what an incredibly difficult time this is for them and we are trying to help in every way possible. We anticipate an influx of weddings for when this is all over and we'll be ready," Franklin said.
Now that most Americans have been mandated to quarantine at home and avoid travel to contain the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, many couples slated to marry at the height of the wedding season in May and June have had to suddenly postpone the big day while others are uncertain. And as a result, small businesses in the wedding industry are temporarily out of business.
To combat this, The Knot Worldwide, the parent company of wedding planning website The Knot that connects brides and grooms-to-be with thousands of local vendors like florists and caterers, started a $10 million financial aid fund to benefit its professional wedding business partners who may be struggling economically amid the pandemic.
“The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to government restrictions imposed on public gatherings in an effort to flatten the curve. While these efforts are important for the greater good, we know that businesses like yours are now navigating uncertain waters,” Tim Chi, the CEO of Knot Worldwide, wrote in an email to vendors who advertise with the company this week.
Up to 96 percent of couples with weddings in April and through July are either pushing back their wedding dates or awaiting further notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a recent survey from The Knot.
The good news, however, is not many couples are canceling their weddings, they're just putting them on hold. Roughly 60 percent of future brides and grooms are moving their reception to a later date in 2020; 15 percent are shifting to 2021; 23 percent are still deciding on a date; and just 4 percent are calling their wedding reception off, The Knot data shows.