Why I Started my own Business During a Pandemic
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in March, many department stores, chains, and small businesses had to shutter their doors, some permanently. Unemployment is rising as more and more people are furloughed or laid off. Events, activities, and nonessential services were halted across the nation. My whole family was affected.
My brother, the owner of an off-road touring company, was closed for two months and almost lost his business. My sister, a judge for the state of California, has been postponing non-emergent cases and trying the rest in her living room over teleconferencing apps. I wasn’t as lucky as they were. I was furloughed in June and laid off in July. The last of nine employees to go, the rest of my team and company were furloughed and then let go one by one. Some of us might be able to go back part-time…sometime next year.
With no regular income, hundreds of people vying for the same handful of available positions, and bills still coming in, I started looking at my options. Reports of the tough times business owners are having and the multitude of GoFundMe and local fundraising campaigns were on the rise. Small businesses were dropping like flies.
Small business is the backbone of the American economy and the foundation on which everything we believe in is built. Without small businesses, we lose 99% of employer firms, 64% of new jobs in the private sector, and a third of our export value. Source
So, I took the plunge, filed the paperwork for the LLC. I’ve been helping small businesses with their advertising, sales, marketing, and business development since 2008, but it wasn’t until this year that I realized the value in making it a full-time project. I have now joined the ranks of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and women-owned businesses across the U.S. who are trying to make their dreams into reality. I’ve been lucky enough to offer some part-time work to two of my former coworkers. I’m helping a 12-year old girl market her very own comic book.
I feel like I am part of something bigger. Not just a business owner, but part of the very fabric of the American dream. My story is not unique or ground-breaking, but it’s my story. I’m hoping, in some small way, to be part of other people’s stories now too. Someday, we will look back on 2020 as part of our distant past and I will remember it as the year I had the courage to create my own ending.