JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Several small businesses in San Marco hit hard by Hurricane Irma are trying to rebuild, including the sibling-owned Painting with a Twist.
Painting with a Twist, 1525 San Marco Blvd., is owned by local brother and sister Josh and Geri Bernard. They are third generation Jacksonville folks.
Their business, which fits up to 40 people at once, takes its customers through a step-by-step process through painting a portrait with no painting experience required. They also work with non-profits and helped raise more than $30,000 for charities to date.
Back in September, their shop flooded and suffered damage from Irma.
"It was shocking," Josh Bernard said. "It was shocking because we thought we'd done everything, boarded up, gotten sandbags."
They said you could see the debris on the wall and a line left from how high the water rose. Their business had to shut down temporarily.
"Financially, it set us back about $50,000," Josh Bernard said, explaining that they are operating in the red. "It hurt a lot."
Both stress that the community can help small businesses impacted by Irma. When it comes to their business, specifically, Josh Bernard said a party of 10 people would help cover their average $325 electric bill. A company party of about 40 people could help them pay their rent, which runs about $3,000.
"One large team building event can help us pay for half our rent," he said. "It's a big deal."
After being shut down for seven weeks, Josh and Geri Bernard said they are back up and running and ready to rebuild.
"We are open, come paint and party with us," she said.
They believe they will be making a profit again in six months.
"Irma, you were tough, but we are tougher," Geri Bernard said.