In 2018, Downtown Books was having a great year: business was up, events were stellar, traffic all summer and into the beginning of fall was strong. Then Hurricane Florence triggered an evacuation of the Outer Banks costing me five full days of shoulder season business. No worries. Just tighten the belt a bit. Double-check the winter reserve fund I worked so hard to build up.
Fall rolled on and then a downgraded Tropical Storm Michael became an extra-tropical cyclone and passed right over us sending an unexpected 24” of water into the store ruining $11,000 worth of inventory; on top of the $5,000 lost to Florence, I had to start siphoning from those hard-won savings. In a resort area, those funds are the only thing that gets us through winter and to see them dwindling in November was petrifying. But then Binc reached out to me, and after much persuading, I put in an application for assistance for the store.
Within 24-hours they had a check headed to my landlord to cover a few months’ rent. Now, as we near the end of the winter, I can honestly say Binc was a life-saver. I was able to get caught up in other areas (estimated taxes for one!) and had enough padding to sleep at night through the cold, dark days of February. Everyone was so lovely to work with—kind, calm, and understanding. I can never thank them enough—and that goes for every single bookseller and publisher who has ever donated money to their organization. The bookselling family is an amazing group—and for me, Binc is an important member of that tribe.”