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Ceres event planner couldn’t survive virus shutdown
The Ceres building which was home to Sharkey & Mella's is now vacant since the COVID-19 lockdown caused the business to fail.

While some businesses have been allowed to open back up for business – with continued state regulations designed to stem the spread of COVID-19 – there is one business that won’t be returning any time soon.

The Fourth Street building that had been occupied by Sharkey and Mella’s for a year prior to the mid-March shutdown of the economy is now vacant and its landlord seeking a new tenant. Business owner Shella Joiner said her business was decimated by the state government’s dictates and she had to seek a full-time job to pay for bills.

Sharkey & Mella’s started out as a home décor business and evolved into event planning.

“It was a detrimental effect so, no, we’re not re-opening,” said Shella Joiner, now a full-time employee at the Dollar General in the Richland Shopping Center.

“Because I’m in the event business and the social gathering rules are still going to be in effect for some time and all of my weddings have rescheduled towards the end of the year and into next year, I don’t have any finances to hold me afloat now.”

She said her expenses were $10,000 per month “and I don’t have that kind of income without having weddings consistently.”

Joiner remains available to rent out supplies for small gatherings but won’t have a show room. Much of her income came from wedding consulting and organizing.

“Without there being large gatherings, there’s not really a need for a coordinator right now so I can’t afford to keep the showroom.”