By Leah Fassnacht, Director of Communications & Marketing
ARCpoint Labs of Reading, PA, nearly suffered the same fate as many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In April and May, it was, are we going to be open or are we going to close?” said Annmarie Dallao, who owns the company along with her husband Albert.
The third party, drug testing collection site, who in addition to the Dallaos employs two part-time employees, saw a 70% drop in revenue during those months.
Annmarie said the company has always had an active social media presence, especially on LinkedIn, but that wasn’t enough. She said one of the biggest things she did was to continually network through Zoom calls, many of which were hosted by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA).
“Through COVID, they (GRCA) did an exceptional job in keeping people connected through the Zoom programs ─ their networking, their education … It was very beneficial to me to stay connected to all the members. Plus, you had some calls where you didn’t even have to be a member.”
It was through some of these Zoom calls that ARCpoint Labs was able to pick up two employment agencies and a car dealership, who are fellow GRCA members, as new clients.
“You never knew who you were going to meet that might be able to use your service,” Annmarie said. “Staying in front of people is key and taking advantage of all the different classes that GRCA had kept me in front of members and let people know we were open.”
Constant networking wasn’t the only way the Dallaos worked to keep their business running. Essential businesses that didn’t want to risk the health of its employees started utilizing the services of ARCpoint Labs.
“People didn’t want to send their employees out into labs. So, we are doing more on-site testing mainly for manufacturing and logistic companies,” she said.
Stimulus checks from the federal government also helped the company as it saw many clients using those funds to take advantage of its DNA testing capabilities.
According to the U.S. Small Business Association, only about 50% of small businesses make it to the five-year mark in normal times, let alone during a worldwide pandemic. Luckily for ARCpoint Labs, it will soon be on the positive side of this benchmark and is preparing to celebrate its five-year anniversary this October.
“We’re a small mom and pop and a little business like this, they say it takes five years to consistently break even. We actually had our best January and February and were doing good the first two weeks of March then COVID hit,” Annmarie said.
Join the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance to take advantage of the same trainings and networking opportunities the Dallaos did. For more information contact Julie Larison.