The boutique vintage clothing and art store Le Merde (2607 NW Market St) is closing down at the end of August.
Le Merde, which opened in 2014 in Greenwood and moved to Market St in 2017, was one of the businesses hit hard by the Market Street construction over the past year. The forced COVID-19 closures further decimated business, owner Debi Boyette tells My Ballard.
“I could not afford to go into debt by being closed,” Boyette says. “I depended greatly on foot traffic and wasn’t prepared to be an online business at the time of closure in March, so our sales went down almost 100 percent.”
Boyette says she applied for economic assistance grants and loans, but wasn’t approved.
“I didn’t qualify for a PPP because I had a loss in profit last year due to the construction. I also applied for the all the disaster care loans and grants but had no luck.”
Despite reaching out to city officials for help and guidance, Boyette says she has no option other than to close her brick-and-mortar and move to online sales.
On top of a major drop in sales, she has two kids and is anticipating having to homeschool them this fall. She says it’s just not feasible to run the shop by herself with the possible continued school closure.
Photo: Le Merde on Facebook