Risky Business? Applications for New Businesses Nearly Doubled During Pandemic

NBC Universal, Inc.

It was March 2020, the world was shutting down and thousands of people like Brad Marquette were losing their jobs. But some free time at home led him to explore a new hobby: woodworking.

“What I started off [with], it was just a skate rack to clean out the garage,” said Marquette, owner of Voodworx.

His passion project turned into a business idea, and a year later Marquette launched Voodworx, a custom-made wood products shop. 

Next door to him is Lost Cyclery: also a product of the pandemic.

The work you see in this shop started inside the back room of a brewery.

“It was a small little 100 square foot spot,” said Tim Trevino, owner of Lost Cyclery. “I had some bike storage in the back that they gave me.”

It was there that Trevino helped fix his friends' and neighbors' bikes. When the pandemic took off, so did the requests for bike service, and his business was born. 

Business applications of all sizes have nearly doubled since the pandemic started, jumping from 3.5 million in 2019 to 5.4 million in 2021, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Many people thought it was very risky to open a shop or expand our business during that time, I thought it was a perfect time,” said Talamante, owner of Cabetos Pops.

Talamante had been looking for a brick-and-mortar location for his ice cream shop for years.

“We started in 2017 in farmers markets. From there we went to do parties,” said Talamante.

Then last year the opportunity came.

“Unfortunately for another business, they were hit hard,” said Talamante. “Zero Gelato, they were there in that spot. They had everything set up for us to just move in. We took advantage of it, you know, unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us.”

Adaptability amid unpredictability often paves the way for success in this pandemic.

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