COVID-19-MONEY-SECURITY

Pandemic hurting local small business, owner says he’s a survivor

Jul 28, 2020, 11:59 AM
Burned SUV in West Valley City under investigation for possible arson. Photo courtesy KSL-TV...
Burned SUV in West Valley City under investigation for possible arson. Photo courtesy KSL-TV

HOLLADAY, Utah – One man’s dream was to come to America to live a simple and happy life. That was the plan Ashot Ouzounian’s family had after they survived the Armenian genocide. It was Ouzounian’s dream to build a better life. 

“They don’t make men like them anymore”

“My grandpa’s brother came here in 1947, so he sponsored us,” Ouzounian told KSL-TV. “Armenians are all over the place. We’re similar to Jewish people. Any country you go to, you’ll find an Armenian.”

Ouzounian says he came to Utah in his early 20’s speaking several languages at the time, but English was not one of them. 

Ask about his grandfather and Ouzounian will have many stories to tell you about how he fled genocide and escaped to Syria. He found around 250 orphans that needed money, they weaved rugs and his grandfather used the profits to help support them. 

“They don’t make men like them anymore,” he said proudly while holding up a picture of his grandfather. “He taught me manners, he taught me how to treat people and how to be kind and how to be generous, and how to share your food — everything.”

Business is down 

The pandemic is hitting his small business harder than he ever thought possible. He owns Fine Designer Rugs. His little “warehouse” is in his backyard where he stores rugs imported from all over the world. He is proud of the handwoven products he sells. 

The rugs come from countries including Pakistan, Tibet, India, China saying he only buys rugs from factories that he has actually visited so he is aware of their techniques, quality, and how the employees are treated. 

The virus is not treating his business well. He says customers are nervous and business is way down. “Oh. 90, 95%,” he said.  “I mean, just… nothing. People call, ask questions, and then you never hear back from them.”

“They don’t know what to do,” Ouzounian said. “You know, very nervous. I’m nervous.”

Part of Ouzounian’s business is repairing rugs, he is using this time to help others as he waits for business to pick up. He is offering to clean rugs for people 60 and over, for rugs of certain sizes. 

Moving forward

“I know how to survive,” he said. “I learned from my grandparents. Armenian culture, we have so many dishes that don’t cost much at all. I mean, cost pennies.”

He says it isn’t easy, but he will get through this, he learned from his grandfather and he is a survivor. 

“I learned money doesn’t buy happiness,” he said. “It pays for things, but it does not buy happiness.”

 

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19-Money-security

canada truck blockade COVID...
ROB GILLIES and TOM KRISHER Associated Press

Four-day truck blockade at US-Canada border shuts auto plants

The bumper-to-bumper demonstration entered its fourth day Thursday at the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit.
5 months ago
Utah's unemployment rate continues to sit lower than national than the national average.
Photo: Nam...
By Paul Wiseman

US unemployment claims at 52-year low

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in 52 years.
7 months ago
Money, COVID-19 financial assistance program reportedly a big success. Photo: Pexels...
Paul Nelson

Salt Lake City calls COVID-19 financial assistance program a big success, some housing funds still available

Officials in Salt Lake City say their financial assistance program to help families with during the pandemic was a success. 
7 months ago
FEMA Photo: canva...
Eliza Craig

FEMA adds $8.4 million to Utah’s COVID response fund

FEMA said the funding will go toward personal protective equipment including medical gowns, N95 masks, and gloves.
8 months ago
September Jobs...
Anneken Tappe, CNN Business

Major disappointment: US economy adds only 194,000 jobs in September

US employers added only 194,000 jobs in September, another troubling sign that Covid is disrupting the economy.
9 months ago
Holla Dollars...
Mary Richards

“Holla Dollars” are released in Holladay to support local business

Holla Dollars can be downloaded in ten dollar increments and were made available by money sent to the state for pandemic relief.
9 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Pandemic hurting local small business, owner says he’s a survivor