Mar. 2—Shortly after the COVD-19 pandemic hit Cape Ann a year ago, Steve Day’s computer repair shop actually saw a bump in business.
“Everyone was getting into Zoom meetings and we saw a lot of people trying to refurbish their computer,” said Day, a lifelong resident of Gloucester and owner of Tiny Planet Computer, 50 Maplewood Ave.
But since that initial spurt, business — Tiny Planet’s most popular service pre-pandemic was on-site repairs — has decreased by up to 70%. Day had to let go of his No. 1 support tech to try to make ends meet.
Now, people are beginning to go back to work and the complexities of remote learning have been ironed out. And Day has found that he only has enough financial assets to keep Tiny Planet open for another week or two.
“I wish I could say it gets better, but I must be truthful with you. We are very close to closing our doors for good,” Day wrote in an email to his patrons last week. “This pandemic has exhausted my savings, maxed my credit cards and forced me to rely on vendor net terms that must still eventually be repaid with money that quite honestly isn’t flowing in.”
Day has given his business, which for 15 years has repaired Cape Ann residents’ Apple and Windows computers and iPhone screens, until March 15 to determine whether or not it can forge ahead.
“My customers are what has brought Tiny Planet Computer this far, and I am hoping that somehow we can all make it through this together,” he wrote.
As he counts down the days, Day has started a GoFundMe page, http://bit.ly/3bPrNye, in a final attempt to raise enough money to keep the shop powered up. The fundraiser has a goal of raising $25,000, the amount Day has determined would be the bare minimum to maintain day-to-day operations.
As of Monday, March 1, the fundraiser has raised $8,615 from those that have been impressed by Day’s business over the years.
“Without Tiny Planet’s help over the years, I wouldn’t be enjoying being online,” Janice Lawson wrote on the fundraising page. “I bought my last computer from them in 2016 and I still use it every day.”
For Marguerite Matera’s family, the computer repair service has been a lifesaver.
“Our family relies on Tiny Planet — and Tiny…