NEW YORK (PIX11) — A New York City toy company was in survival mode after the sudden shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank, even asking customers for help to keep stores afloat.
Camp toy stores slashed prices and sent an honest email to customers asking for their help to keep nine locations afloat after 85% of its assets were tied to Silicon Valley Bank.
“Please help us by shopping Camp.com today and through the weekend,” the email said. “To catalyze sales, we’re offering 40% off of ALL online merchandise (excluding tickets & gift cards). You can use the code BANKRUN at checkout. Or you can pay full price without the code– which is also appreciated.”
Silicon Valley Bank was shut down Friday by United States regulators who seized all assets. Camp co-founder Ben Kaufman needed to make payroll for 200 employees and pay rent for nine store locations.
“Every private Facebook group, every mom group showed up in epic proportions. We sold more product in 48 hours than we usually do in a month,” Kaufman said.
The weekend was so profitable, it would have given Camp another month to figure out how to navigate this crisis. But the extra time is no longer needed and the sale is over. The federal government has now agreed to rescue Silicon Valley Bank customers with all depositors fully protected.
Kaufman said the fear from this past weekend was similar to the fear he experienced exactly three years ago when his doors were shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaufman said his lesson as a small business owner is to always be resourceful, to think on your feet and be thankful for those who support you.