How Small Operator Raymond Huff Stayed Open with Sales Down 80%

AUSTIN, Texas, and LAKEWOOD, Colo., April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — StrasGlobal’s new resource for independent convenience store operators, Resources for Retailers, and Raymond Huff, President of HJB Convenience Corporation, share an independent retailer’s story of persistence and the course of action he took to stay in business with the Payroll Protection Programs (PPP1, PPP2), and Employee Retention Credit (ERC) funding.

According to Ray Huff who operates c-stores in downtown Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Detroit, “My convenience stores in downtown Denver saw a sales drop 80% or more since March 2020. But with PPP and ERC funding, I have been able to pay my employees and keep 16 locations open. My message to all small operators like me is that it’s not too late. You have to be aggressive reaching out to make sure your company gets the resources available. I reached out to my state congressmen, senators and my mayor. I reached out to my local bank. I worked with my accountant and reached out to my payroll company to make sure I got loan forgiveness.”

Ray contacted us because he wants to share his story of hope and action with fellow independent operators,said Jessica Williams, Director of RfR. “Ray’s approach can be a template for other retailers who can take similar action right away and potentially save their businesses.” Actionable highlights of the video Conversation with Independent Operator Raymond Huff include:

  • Be Curious: Speak to fellow business owners in your community to learn from one another and get results
  • Be Proactive: Local bank relationships can work in your favor for faster access to funding
  • Be Aggressive: Ask what you really need to stay in business
  • Be Persistent: Work with your accountant and payroll company to insure loan forgiveness
  • Stay Open: With ERC funds you can put money back into your account that you’ve already paid your employees

Listen to Ray’s Interview and Find Resources

Special Feature: How Independent Operator Raymond Huff Used Federal Funds to Stay Open ( 

“We can learn a lot from Ray,” said StrasGlobal President Eva Strasburger. “If you’re an independent business owner and your sales have been affected by COVID-19, there’s still money out there to keep your business open.”

About StrasGlobal

StrasGlobal is a leading provider of contract services and site operations around the country. Drawing on our 60-year heritage as innovators in convenience and small-format site management around the world. StrasGlobal offers our services to companies who don’t have the expertise, infrastructure or desire to operate them. StrasGlobal’s turn- key retail operations and management services include administration and financial reporting, store operations from staffing to marketing and merchandising to foodservice, and vendor negotiations and fuel management. StrasGlobal also has retail company operations in non-traditional convenience locations. Compliance Safe develops and markets a cloud-based software as a service (SAS) program that allows retailers to monitor, track and store business critical documents such as permits and licenses and provides alert notifications for when renewal deadlines are approaching. Resources for Retailers (RfR) is a knowledge center and community for retailers who want access to resources usually available only to the large operators. RfR will also offer benefits such as buying groups, share groups, and various consulting, marketing and operations support services. The “RfR Dispatch” newsletter delivers ‘how-to’ best practices with real-world, actionable takeaways written by subject matter experts. RfR’s mission is to level the retail playing field by providing small retailers with best in industry ideas and programs. The Vision Group is a collection of aspirational, forward-thinking business leaders who anticipate disruption, share best practices, and learn from each other to create new initiatives. Uniquely, the Vision Group’s members come from different industry channels – retailers, suppliers, convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants, institutional food service and concept innovation – to view opportunities from multiple vantage points in order to be one step ahead of their competitors. It was co-founded by Roy & Eva Strasburger & Myra Kressner.

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About HJB Convenience Corporation dba Russell’s Convenience

HJB Convenience is a Colorado corporation formed in 2004, does business as Russell’s Convenience and Russell’s Xpress, which specializes in tenant convenience stores in the central business district of Denver, Los Angeles, Detroit and San Francisco. HJB operates one traditional convenience store in Honolulu, Hi. The corporate office is in Lakewood, Co.  HJB is a forward-thinking retailer. In 2014 HJB opened its first cashier-less (self-serve) location in Denver’s Republic Plaza under the brand Russell’s Xpress. They now operate 3 Russell’s Xpress’s. HJB uses or develops as necessary the technology to serve the corporate office market with its sister company Tenderfoot Software.


Jessica Williams
Director, Resources for Retailers

Myra Kressner
President, Kressner Strategy Group

SOURCE Resources for Retailers