As the pandemic continues, we’re seeing business open up again, we’re seeing services and utilities work to get back up to speed, but a lot of vendors are still struggling. The two biggest events on the North American gaming and SCA calendars – GenCon and Pennsic – were both cancelled, and the impact for a lot of smaller vendors – and larger ones to, granted – has been devastating. Some have had to shutter their doors outright, others struggling to keep forging forward, others are pleading for patience as they realign supply chains, work with reduced staff, and and so many other struggles that impact their ability to keep food on the table.
Lost Hemisphere’s past sponsors included Dragon Forge Design, a company that I very much believe in and support, who have consistently produced some of the finest resin bases in the tabletop wargaming industry. Dragon Forge Design’s owner posted an update on Facebook recently talking about some of the challenges he’s facing, not the least of which is the disruption of the postal service he relies on to both provide the supplies needed to manufacture bases, and to deliver product to eager customers. Here’s some highlights:
“9th edition hit and I got slammed with orders, a lot of orders from current customers, old customers returning to the hobby and most important new customers to my products. I’m currently trying my best working long days trying to get these orders processed and shipped out. I appreciate your patience in all of this but I’m starting to get flooded with a lot of complaints and where’s-my-order emails. I’m doing my best to get stuff out and keep everyone happy.”
“The second issue is delivery once cast. I use USPS to ship all my orders. At the moment its my only option. I have tried to contact other services Like UPS, Fed Ex or DHL but I’m to small for them to want to deal with or give me any discounted rates. It would just mean shipping costs 2-3 times higher than they already are. Everyone’s shipping volume is messed up right now because of Covid-19. Things are being delayed. This is on incoming to me, like supplies I need being delayed from days to weeks to orders being shipped out delayed. Add to it the total mess the USPS is becoming due to the current administrations attempt to dismantle the post office removing sorting machines and cutting staff, the mail is slow. Packages are reaching everyone, they are just taking longer. “
“International orders is another thing. With Covid-19 effect on international travel and flights packages are taking weeks even months to get to people. No international passenger flights = no international mail. The delays in international mail are getting less for larger countries but smaller ones are slower. The mail collects in places like Chicago until they have enough for a container or a plane and then dispatch it. I’m sorry I have no control over this.”
Smaller businesses – and not just those in the gaming industry – need support in order to weather the current storm. From mom-and-pop bakeries to small bookstores in your hometown, to smaller vendors like Dragon Forge Design – who, again, make frankly the best bases I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with – they all need your business, your support, and your patience.
Wash your damn hands. Wear your damn mask. Support small businesses.