Small business owners meet to try and support each other during the struggling economy

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the national and global economies. But it’s small business owners who have taken the brunt of the storm that is COVID-19.

Nicole Knight is the owner of Smooch! Studio in Frederick. She hopes that her custom makeup business will be able to celebrate its 12th year of business in the spring.

Knight explained that her business saw one of its best fiscal quarters right before the start of the pandemic and described the boom of the economy was finally catching up to her small business. She then saw a 75% decline in revenue and as restrictions were relaxed, only a 40% decline.

“We have not been able to keep our full staff and my business partner and I are forgoing our paychecks right now because we are paying our staff and we’re keeping them employed.”

Danny Farrar is the founder and CEO of Soldierfit, a fitness training franchise based on military fitness training. He stressed that small businesses are the foundation of the economy and are vital to their community.

“The American business owner is bleeding… They are literally bleeding to death. The small business, more so than any other major conglomerate, they’re the ones who take of their community cause they live there! It’s home for them… They don’t wanna see that go away, they don’t wanna see that dream die.”

Rick Weldon is the president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. He believes that small businesses and large corporations should be held to the same set of rules and standards.

“If Costco can sell me a fishing shirt and be responsible about it then Murray Friedman at Hunting Creek Outfitters, a little store in downtown Frederick who sells fishing shirts, should be able to do exactly the same thing.”

With COVID cases on the rise, capacity restrictions have been reinstated following the announcement from Governor Larry Hogan. These small business owners now face the reality of losing all that they have worked for.

Knight stressed that small businesses create jobs for their neighbors and that many small business owners have put their whole lives into their business.

“I know that all of our small business owners and all of my colleagues in downtown Frederick specifically and I know all over, we are the backbone of the community.”

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