Small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, one of which is Southwest Soda Pop Shop, a Black women-owned ice cream shop in Washington, D.C.
Southwest Soda Pop Shop, a family-owned ice cream shop, opened back in 2018 and is operated by sisters Andrea, Brianna, Brittany, and Lena Jones, as well as their father, Darryl. Unfortunately, when COVID-19 shut down businesses, SSPS was having serious trouble staying afloat.
PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR BUSINESS. We are a black female owned Ice cream shop located in SW DC @TheWharfDC we had to remain closed due to the pandemic resulting in great financial devistation. Black businesses are so important,especially right now .RT and spread the word. pic.twitter.com/69cCyMLzgT— . (@feelthatdrea) June 5, 2020
When the closure caused "great financial devastation," Andrea asked Twitter for support. Quickly, Jones' tweet went viral, and people flocked in droves—both online and in-person—to support them.
"Am I about to drive across the entire United States just to get ice cream from this place in particular? Probably," said one Twitter user.
The Jones family was able to raise over $25,000 via GoFundMe to help keep their store open. Lines wrapped around the block. The family was overwhelmed with the amount of support and intends to give back as soon as things settle a bit.
"I am a school teacher and one of my main things was to give back to the kids, because a lot of kids throughout this quarantine have not been able to eat the way they eat at school, so once our bills are taken care of, the next thing is to feed the community," she added. "You can’t do anything if you don’t eat."