Entrepreneurs reveal potential fate of small businesses amid pandemic

Small businesses represent the heartbeat of communities.

However, the continued impact of COVID-19 has created a parallel crisis to what we are fighting across our healthcare system. While we will restore the well-being of the world, the aftershocks of this pandemic will be felt by small business owners for years to come.

Despite a grim outlook, many owners have used the crisis to pivot their business models. This newfound resilience has kept them treading water and, in some cases, reaching an entirely new customer base. 

On this week’s episode of Verizon’s #Next20, Sibile Marcellus from Yahoo Finance spoke with visionaries Kezia Williams, CEO of the Black upStart, and Elizabeth Gore, co-founder of Hello Alice, to learn more about their resilience in the face of such uncertainty.

Gore told Marcellus she believes that despite the current state of economic affairs, we may actually see some small companies begin to thrive amid global lockdown.

“I actually think we will see some incredibly innovative businesses come out of this pandemic,” she said. “Even big enterprises, Fortune 100s are having to shift and pivot right now. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can shift faster.”

“So, if you can jump in there and plug a hole for an enterprise company and make money that way right now, that’s a massive opportunity,” she added.

The types of companies more apt to succeed amid this tumultuous landscape are, according to Williams, those who “remember their purpose” and refuse to look backward.

“The plan has changed!” she said. “So, entrepreneurs who embrace that concept I think will go further. We’re only going forward.”

Although it may seem like a daunting feat to start a small business amid a global pandemic, both guests strongly advocated for those thinking about taking the plunge.

“My goal is to have entrepreneurs realize that starting a business is one of the most intelligent things that you can do in 2020,” Williams said.

“I’m an entrepreneur and I know how hardworking entrepreneurs are,” Gore added. “They’ve pivoted every day already. They’re versatile.”

To hear from more small business owners, watch the video above.

If you liked this article, check out this TikToker’s pro bono ad for a small, Black-owned business.

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