From This Collection

How global economic disruption sifts down to one small flour mill in Pasadena, California

Mar 31, 2022
Nan Kohler of Grist & Toll says she's thinking outside the box to deal with challenges from the pandemic and rising inflation.
"I stay in business because people are looking for a healthier product, and it is a radically different product than what we have available ... on the grocery store shelves," says Nan Kohler, above at Grist & Toll in Pasadena, California.
Courtesy Kohler

This microbusiness owner is riding a roller-coaster

Feb 2, 2022
Running a microbusiness in a pandemic economy is tough. Businesses that rely on human interaction have to be creative to survive.
Amelia Freeman-Lynde, who owns Freeman's Creative in North Carolina, has seen many small businesses suffer hard knocks recently. “It's kind of like, pull yourself up or get out of the game,” she said.
Alex Manness/Courtesy Amelia Freeman-Lynde

Two years into the pandemic, this microbusiness owner is still on "a roller coaster"

Jan 19, 2022
"My brain is tired from adapting so much," says Ashlie Ordonez, owner of The Bare Bar in Denver, Colorado.

Struggling venue operators can finally seize the federal government’s lifeline

Apr 28, 2021
Applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant reopened on Monday after a failed launch earlier this month.
Comedian Janee Harvey performs at xBk in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 23. Proprietor Tobi Parks is one of many small business owners applying for a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
Photo by Maggie Littel, courtesy of xBk

The highs and lows of making in-demand pandemic products

Apr 1, 2021
Clear plastic barriers to protect workers are everywhere now. What does that mean for companies that make them?
In 2020, California Acrylic Design made custom plastic barriers for schools, government agencies and a wide range of businesses.
Courtesy of California Acrylic Design

Why this small business said goodbye to the office for good

Mar 31, 2021
“We’re gonna save about $60,000 a year,” said Carolyn Walker, CEO and managing partner of Response Marketing in Connecticut.
The pandemic shrunk Response Marketing's revenue and forced the firm to go virtual. “I feel like if I made it through this, we can make it through anything,” says CEO Carolyn Walker.
Courtesy of Response

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At this Detroit framing shop, demand is outstripping supply

Mar 25, 2021
For Eric Vaughn, picture frame demand is up as customers spend more time at home. But can supply keep pace?
"Since we've been back open, it's been pretty busy," said Eric Vaughn. "We've had to kind of change the way we do business, simply because we have people on top of each other."
Courtesy Eric Vaughn

Home repair demand helps grow this microbusiness during the pandemic

Mar 15, 2021
The owner of a handyman business in Las Vegas must decide whether or not to hire more employees to keep up with repair jobs.
Brad Hess is owner of Ace Handyman Services Summerlin, an individually owned and operated franchise of Ace Hardware in Las Vegas.
Courtesy of Brad Hess

Craft store, rooted in hands-on learning, pivots online to survive

Amelia Freeman-Lynde wanted to show people the joys of handcraft in person. The pandemic forced her to transition to e-commerce.
Amelia Freeman-Lynde owns Freeman's Creative in Durham, North Carolina. "So much of running a small business is trying to anticipate what's coming next," she says. "And we can't do that right now."
Chika Gujarathi / Courtesy of Amelia Freeman-Lynde