McKINNEY, TX – The Lone Star State is opening up. There are still restrictions, to be sure, especially for places like gyms and restaurants, but the government – responsible for shutting down businesses in mid-March – has given regular guidance since Phase One to everyone impacted by a shutdown. Everyone, it seems, except the event industry.
“The event industry is made up almost entirely of small businesses. These businesses are dramatically impacted with the rescheduling of events due to lost cash flow from the delay of payments to the loss of another day they could have held an event,” explains Wendy Kidd, owner of Each and Every Detail, a full planning event service in McKinney. “Each wedding on average has 15 vendors servicing that event, which means 15 businesses are impacted per event rescheduled.”
The McKinney Chamber of Commerce has reached out to dozens of event venues in Collin County over the past few days in hopes of helping those businesses connect with government officials to get a dialogue going on how to safely move forward.
One of the unique things about events – like weddings or corporate events – is that they are scheduled months in advance. Which means the weddings, parties, and other events that were canceled between mid-March and now need to be rescheduled. However, the governor’s office saying event venues must stay at 25% capacity while restaurants are allowed to open to 50% capacity puts event planners like Kidd and venue owners like Jennifer Klassen of Gather McKinney in a precarious position.
“I have not had a single Bride or Groom who is willing to keep their current date at 25% capacity. Add to this that the governor gave no indication as to when capacity for event venues will be addressed again and now I’m in a situation where I have rescheduled events with no future date selected,” said Klassen. “Increasing the capacity to 50% is a game changer. Most weddings and events would still be able to take place as scheduled at 50% capacity.”
Having events – big and small – canceled for months on end with no end in sight will also have a massive effect on the economy. Guests aren’t coming to town to stay in hotels. They’re not eating at local restaurants. They’re not shopping at local shops. And, of course, no additional tax revenue for the city is coming in either.
“WeddingReport.com reported that there were 5,017 Weddings in Collin County in 2019,” says Klassen. “The average cost of a wedding in 2019 in Collin County was $34,970. Ask yourself, how many of those guests stayed in hotels? How many of those guests dined and shopped in Collin County? Now multiply that throughout Texas.”