Most Corrales businesses have continued right along despite the governor’s closure order. That’s because by far, most Corrales businesses are home occupations. People are working from home because that’s what they’ve always done. More than 800 businesses here are home-based operations, usually with internet clients.The products or services they offer cover a wide range, from fashion and jewelry to antique ceramics repair and illustrations.
Although it may be assumed that most of Village government’s gross receipts tax revenues come from restaurants and retail shops along Corrales Road, those hundreds of home-based businesses are collecting GRT for their sales as well… at least, they are supposed to. The Village Office could not provide a current list of active home occupation permits, nor a tally of Corrales’ take from their GRT payments. Monthly reports of such collections transferred from businesses to the Department of Finance and Administration in Santa Fe do not segregate monies coming from home-base operations from those from brick-and-mortar retail outlets.
But running a business from home doesn’t necessarily mean such operations are immune from the current pandemic disruptions. Some of Corrales’ home occs provide services to other businesses in Albuquerque, around New Mexico and beyond. If their clients’ businesses or organizations are hurting, so are suppliers, whether they are working from home or not.
For example, Heidi Ames’ HiHo Design firm lost work because an annual conference in Denver was cancelled. “I did lose some projects for a Washington DE non-profit because they had to cancel their large annual conference in Denver this month,” she reported. That was the COVID-19 domino effect in action. “My other non-profit work is on par with past years. However, another annual equestrian event in Santa Fe that generally produces work for me this time of year was also cancelled,” she explained, adding that “Government work assigned through a local small business is flowing normally. So yes, it has affected my business, but thankfully not dramatically or detrimentally.”
One of Corrales’ best known internet-based businesses, The Cinchy Cowgirl, told Corrales Comment that while its online retailing continues robustly, she is worried that some of her suppliers are experiencing slow-downs due to the pandemic. “The Cinchy Cowgirl is going great over all,” owner Sam Tarter replied. “I wouldn’t say it’s ‘business as normal’ with COVID-19 because we are dealing with worldwide closures with our manufacturers among other things like having to lay off employees, working from home now, etc.’”We are struggling to get inventory to some degree as many of our vendors and manufacturers are closed or operating very slowly. But we have made necessary adjustments to bring in what we need.
“I’ve turned a lot of our focus on supporting other small businesses, and we have been offering many new products that are being made or designed by small businesses nationwide.” Tarter sold from a storefront in Corrales’ commercial corridor for several years before moving to online only. “A major of the business has been online throughout the course of its existence, so we’re just continuing what we’ve been doing, but with more resources and time now since closing the store.
“Our local shoppers have expressed they missed coming to our store though, so as soon as COVID-19 is over, we will be exploring ‘warehouse weekends’ with select dates for our locals to come shop again,” Tarter suggested. Offerings include fashion clothing, jewelry, wigs, items for horses and dogs and many other products. The Cinchy Cowgirl accepts payment through a wide range of options: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Diners Club, Venmo and ShopPay, in addition to the more common credit cards and PayPal.
A different service is offered by Corrales ceramic artist Andy Goldschmidt. He said his work repairing ceramic art is continuing strong, although it’s “a little slower. Most of the work comes in through the mail or by private carriers.” Goldschmidt wanted it known that the kinds of ceramics on which he works are more delicate or rare pieces… “please, no teapots and things like that,” he pleaded. “It’s mainly antiques and ethnographic ceramics that I work on. “Broken, chipped, cracked, any kind of damage, I can make them like the way they were before they were broken.”
His Ceramicare business has operated in Corrales for 30 years. “I have rarely been out of work, maybe a couple of weeks over the past 10 years or so. I’m in demand still even though I’ve been doing this for 40 years.” Goldschmidt attracts clients from around the United States, mostly people seeking repairs on Native American pottery. He is now a representative for an organization specializing in detecting forgeries. “I can detect whether something is a forgery or a real antique,” he said. He provides testing for a laboratory in England. “I take a sample from a piece and send it to the laboratory and they test to see whether it is an antique or a forgery.”
Kent Blair’s home-based business, Architecture Illustrated, does not sell at retail, but is nonetheless affected by the widespread economic down-turn. “It affects my business because I’m involved in the construction industry. “The architects and developers that I do illustrations for have projects that are on hold. I have one client who seems to have a lot of contacts who need my services, but other than that, I’ve been pretty much shut down. But I understand their situation.” Blair’s business has been home-based since it started in Corrales in 1984. Almost never does a client visit his home office, so his in-person meetings are normally done elsewhere.