Busy B’s Flowers Inc., Neon, KY
Fleming-Neon is a small town nestled in the mountains of Appalachia. Those who call Fleming-Neon their home have faced adversity before, but they could not imagine the events which would transpire in late July of 2022. For the Kincers, they would wake as so many others to see their business and homes destroyed.
In 2000, Busy B’s Flower was born and throughout the years, has been located in different locations throughout Neon. The flower shop is only part of this dynamic duo’s passion. Bonnie began teaching classes in gymnastics, dance, and baton twirling when she was a senior in high school, and she’s never stopped.
Bonnie says her dance group Silver Spinners, “keeps her and Randall young, and they love the joy it brings to the kids.”
When the floods receded enough to begin cleaning up, Bonnie, her husband, family, and friends went to work. Mud, glass, water, wood, and things no human could imagine had to be removed from the business. Everything was lost – everything.
On August 26, Michelle Spriggs with the Kentucky SBDC and Kyle Smith with the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED), visited businesses in Fleming-Neon and surrounding communities to let them know about resources available to them on possible emergency business loan programs and grant money available. The Kentucky SBDC provides no-cost, confidential, business assistance to small businesses across the Commonwealth. SKED serves a 45-county area in Eastern Kentucky and offers lending opportunities and technical assistance to small and large businesses.
What they found while visiting the area was many business owners were so busy cleaning up their business location, they had not taken the time to visit a Disaster Recovery Center and were not aware of programs available to them.
Shortly after our visit, Spriggs sat down with Bonnie and assisted her in filling out the grant application with the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky and later assisted with follow-ups needed for approval.
Bonnie is so grateful, “without their visit on that fated day, we would not have known and would not have applied in time.”
Since the flood, we have been put in contact with people like Don Owens and wonderful organizations who have helped us put the pieces of our business back together. Gods Warehouse out of Tennessee provided the lumber to build our dance stage back. They also provided a stove for their kitchen and kitchen cabinets. Smile Faith has also aided Busy B’s. Their assistance has allowed the Kincers to provide food to their dance kids when they arrive after school for classes.
Bonnie said so many different people have come into their lives when they’ve needed it during this trying time. Two nurses just stopped by shortly after the floods, “they just happened by, I think the Lord just sent them to us”, said Kincer. They were from North Carolina in the area helping. One was a flight nurse and the other an OBGYN nurse. They dug in and “cleaned stuff you wouldn’t think a stranger would and came back to help again to clean.” In December right before Christmas, they called asking for the names of our dance students, “you see they are dance moms.” They returned in late January with 2 gymnastics mats and wonderful gift baskets for all twenty-one of our students.”
Silver Spinners classes started back in December for the Kincers and their students. They have held fundraisers to raise needed funds for student costume needs. They have begun performing at local high school ballgames again. Many of Bonnie’s students lost everything in the floods so classes have been offered free of charge. Currently, classes are being held on the stage since the roof is still leaking, even with multiple repairs.
Bonnie worries the repairs to the roof will hinder their ability to reopen the business completely but she has a positive outlook for the future, “the Lord has sent us what we’ve needed, and I am trusting in him that he will send us what we need to get us through this”, said Kincer.
The Kincers plan to have a reopening of Busy B’s in July.