Husband, wife and son

husband, wife and son



February 09, 2021 @ 12:00am

Madison-Area Couple Struggles to Run Businesses, Take Care of Family During COVID-19 Pandemic

Extra planning, safety measures along with revenue losses impact local businesses

Matt and Tori Gerding have a lot on their plates. Along with raising two small children, each of them is navigating a business through an industry upended by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re both as busy as ever with work – everything we do takes so much more planning and work than it ever has before,” said Matt. “We just take life one day at a time, stay as focused as possible and try to extend each other a lot of grace. And our kids help ground us and remind us every day what is truly important in life, so I’m thankful for that perspective.”

As president of FPC Live, Madison’s principal concert promotion event company, Matt Gerding has seen firsthand the toll the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on the live music industry in 2020. Music events across the country were canceled or postponed until 2021 as indoor spaces and mass outdoor gatherings were deemed unsafe due to the potential virus spread.

Facing the reality of a completely wiped out 2020 show calendar, FPC Live announced significant layoffs and pay reductions in their organization in the fall. In early December, FPC Live was awarded a share of a $15 million Live Music venue Covid-19 relief package from the state, an expansion of Governor Tony Evers’ CARES Act. FPC Live is also hopeful that they will see further financial support from national relief efforts like the proposed Save Our Stages Act, which has received bipartisan support and is currently under congressional review as part of the Heroes Act.

Tori Gerding, owner of Madison’s Ancora Coffee Roaster, also knows what it’s like to have the pandemic alter her business.

“We are just barely squeaking by, like I think so many restaurants are, and really holding out hope that our leaders will provide relief to our industry and similar ones that have been hit so hard,” said Tori. “When the pandemic hit, we did embrace the 21st century in terms of our POS equipment, and can now offer online ordering, touchless payment etc. which has been very important to maintaining sales, especially since we do not accept cash currently.”

Participating in local programs like “Cook it Forward” and “Soup’s On” has been an important way for some local businesses like Ancora to raise additional funds to help keep their staff members employed and their businesses going through the pandemic.

Tori recognizes that local businesses will continue to need support from the community early in the new year. “A lot of these businesses have put every last dollar, and ounce of love and sweat equity into these businesses. Show them your love.” As the unexpected year of 2020 comes to an end and we look forward to what 2021 might bring our way, a glimmer of hope seems to be appearing with the arrival of a vaccine and an eventual return to normalcy.

“We are absolutely optimistic about 2021, but more towards the second half of the year,” said Matt of live music’s eventual return. “It’s so deeply ingrained into the fabric of our culture, especially in Madison.”

Matt says that FPC Live has a detailed strategy ready to bring live music back to Madison when the time comes. “We’ll be able to execute a safe plan that both artists, fans, and our staff will feel really good about. People will be ready to come out and celebrate!”

Tori has some great advice for the Madison community and beyond. “Remember to be kind and compassionate to everyone you encounter. 2020 hasn’t been kind to many of us, but we can still choose to be kind to each other."

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Post tags:News Covid