LaNiyah Collins, Howard University News Service
Covid-19 has impacted everyone in the world in some way or another and one of those ways has been financially. Some people are able to receive financial compensation from their job if they need to quarantine but this doesn’t apply for business owners. Business owners have had to learn to adapt to the new norms the pandemic has created while also trying to grow their business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that 58 percent of small business have had to worry about permanently closing during the pandemic.
Within a business, especially a small one, the owner must enforce policies to ensure the safety of them and their customers because of the virus. Nicolette Curtain, a personal fitness trainer, expressed how gym etiquette has changed throughout the pandemic.
“I limit my boot camp to only 10 people so everyone is able to social distance and we require masks upon entrance. We make sure every piece of equipment is wiped down after each use and we get the gym deep cleaned more often now,” she shared.
Antonia Lucas, the owner of a balloon decor business, said that she had to make some drastic changes to the way she conducts business.
“I ask for my clients not to be at the venue while I’m setting up and if I’m dropping off the decor, I leave it at their door. The money is usually transferred electronically but I will still accept cash,” she said.
Although COVID-19 has impacted a great deal of people negatively with their finances, some businesses are receiving more service than ever before. Terrilynn Hardy, a hair stylist who works for herself, expressed that the pandemic has brought more clients into her life and kept her booked.
“ With me willing to do my hair from my home during the pandemic, this drew more people to me because they still wanted to get their hair done despite the salon being closed. I only do one person at a time and take other safety measures but my client list and services have definitely grew throughout the pandemic,” she said.
Lucas said with people having to change the way they celebrate accomplishments, more people have taken an interest into her decorations.
“With more people having drive–thru graduation and birthday celebrations, I’ve gotten more orders than ever before. I’ve done so many balloon creations for drive thru parties this year,” she said.
Through every struggle there are lessons to be learned. Even after being self-employed for over a decade, Hardy still understands that there are always new lessons that will come along.
“I always knew to save for rainy days but the pandemic taught me to make saving a priority because anything can happen. It’s also taught me to adapt in the midst of chaos. When you are responsible for your income, you have to learn to find new ways to gain new clients and keep your current ones, even in the midst of a pandemic,” she said.
The world will have new norms once the pandemic has passed and so will these business owners. Curtain shared that she had to come up with different ways to accommodate clients while staying safe.
“The pandemic pushed me to do online training classes, which has broadened my horizon to new clientele. I have people reaching out to me from North Carolina and California and I now have a way to assist them with their fitness needs,” she said.
In conclusion, although COVID-19 has impacted a lot of people negatively, it has pushed some small businesses to new heights. In every struggle, there is usually a silver lining and these business owners have found theirs. The Wall Street Journal reported that the applications for employer identification has passed 3.2 million, so a large number of others have found a silver lining during these tough times as well. Small business usually thrive with support from their local community so try to support your local small businesses during these difficult times.