APPLETON, Wis. — Driving a shiny limo started off more like a hobby for Tina Simmons, the owner of TNT Limos that offers local services in the Fox Cities.
At one point in time, her business operated three limousines and employed three additional drivers. Today, her business is down to one limo, but this turned out to be a small blessing in disguise especially entering the unforeseeable year of 2020.
"I’m really glad or really blessed that I was set up with just one limo because I don’t know what would have happened," says Simmons. "I do know that when the president announced that everything would be closing, within 2 days, all my jobs cancelled."
Working through the past year just wasn’t an option for Simons. With the need of social distancing, a long list of cancelled proms or graduations and postponed weddings. This left Simmons’ limo stationary in her drive way for most of 2020.
"There were times when I was driving 5 to 7 times a week, a job every single day and before covid things were pretty well," says Simmons.
TNT Limos sat at zero dollar income for well one 6 months, the yearly average income of about $30,000 was gone. But now, that’s changing. As vaccines roll out, and people feel safer going out to public gatherings, a new version of celebrations are back on the calendar.
"You know obviously our lives are never ever going to be the same," says Simmons. "But now we’re finding new hope and new ways to adjust to what was and what’s going to be, and I’m very hopeful."
Simmons says she hopes to reach at least half of her income and jobs through the rest of the year, this month she’s already been able to fully book through August.
"I hope that people aren’t afraid any more and hopefully we’ll get back to doing some of the things we used to do," says Simmons.