Effects of COVID-19 on Small Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on businesses across the country as well as locally. Despite livelihoods lost, there are still a great deal of local small businesses that have continued to stay afloat. 

One such business is Purcellville’s longest running yoga studio, YogaTime. The yoga studio was shut down from March of 2020 until the summer months, when the governor began lifting restrictions and allowing customers at a limited capacity. Even then, as the town of Purcellville began to re-emerge, yoga did not. “It has taken almost a year to get people back in… today in this class, there were 12 or 14; last week we had 20, which is huge in comparison. We always used to have 20, and even now it’s taken this long for the business to show signs of life again,” says Mindy Beach, owner of the studio. There were various times throughout the quarantine where Beach felt they would have to close down. Initially, yoga students felt uncomfortable returning. 

Sweet Rose Bakeshop draws in customers off the W&OD Trail.

Another small Purcellville business is Sweet Rose Bakeshop, a family run shop dedicated to amazing customer service and baked goods. As a result of COVID-19, they had to close for three weeks. “It was very, very nerve racking,” says Andy Goon, one of the owners, “I didn’t know whether we would be able to continue our business or not. It’s basically a shot in the dark. It’s nothing you can easily prepare for.” Goon explains, “There were shortages, customer conflicts, and we also had problems getting our inventory. I thought we would close permanently on at least three or four occasions.” 

Branching out to Leesburg, Hogback Mountain Paintball is one of few recreational paintball courses in Loudoun County. Hogback Mountain Paintball faced one of its hardest years yet after its twenty-six years running. After the stay-at-home mandate in March of 2020, Hogback was deemed non-essential and lost most of its earnings during the first six weeks of the pandemic. “I had great concern about the financial harm the shutdown would potentially have. With no incoming revenue, most businesses, mine included, were left wondering how long rent, insurance, staff, etc. could be paid,” says Rodney Huber, owner of Hogback Mountain Paintball. 

With the ongoing pandemic, Huber encouraged the community to recognize the benefits of aiding small businesses. “It would be helpful if the general public were pro-small business and helped spread the word about the benefit of small businesses. We employ locally, pay taxes locally, fix up properties locally, provide services, entertainment and products that would otherwise not be available. Contrary to the internet and the big box retailers, what we do is often a labor of love with limited financial remuneration. Nonetheless, much of the onus is on small businesses to provide services, products, experiences and convenience that large retailers and the internet cannot offer. And to market themselves effectively.” 

Whether it be food, recreation, or exercise, there’s always a small business in need of support.