Minneapolis event planner pulls out all the stops to save business during pandemic

The event planning company is working to stay alive in the age of COVID-19. (FOX 9)

With COVID-19 surging in Minnesota and much of the Midwest, it's likely it will be well into next year before some normalcy returns.

The strain on small businesses, coping with crowd restrictions and cancelled events, is months from ending.

In Minneapolis, one small business is doing all they can to stay alive. From a converted warehouse in the city, a small-event planning company is in the middle of a three-day liquidation sale. They're not liquidating because they're going out of business, but rather, liquidating to stay in business.

"The nine months have been challenging to say the least," said Kelly Bollis, owner of Maven.

Since March, COVID-19 has crashed the party and cancelled most of what she does.

"Immediately knew we had to keep our staff, so let’s cut expenses," said Bollis. "So immediately we started cutting expenses in every way we could. We called it our stay-in-business plan."

The weekend sale in their space on East Hennepin is all about the long fight to stay afloat.

"At this point now, we call it our phase 10 of our stay-in-business plan which is selling all our stuff, getting rid of our storage," Bollis explained.

All the props they use for wedding receptions, corporate parties, photo-shoots, and any other experience they would design all have to go. The priority is keeping staff on until the event business resumes in full.

"I tell every business owner I talk to that you need to be prepared to change," said Bollis.

Like so many others, Bollis walks a tightrope of competing realities that COVID-19 brings: The virus is hurting people while the health guidelines to slow it are hurting businesses. She believes you have to find a way to keep both healthy.

She has no problem liquidating her props -- she can always buy more. She also has no problems with the restrictions. It's reality and it will be for a while yet.

"Take this time to really analyze what you do," she says, "how you do it well, how can you do it better. And that will help you last longer throughout this."

The sale at Maven continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can find further details on the company's Instagram page: @mavenevents.