small business

Small Business Adapting to Coronavirus

From forming new partnerships to a greater use of the internet, small businesses are looking at ways to change their business models to survive.

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A recent survey indicated more than two-thirds of small businesses said the coronavirus crisis will likely change their business models for good.  It’s happening here in Connecticut right before our eyes.  

Because of the close proximity work she does, Gisele Tyler’s eyelash extension business in Wilton is not among those in the first wave of reopenings as coronavirus restrictions are eased.  

Tyler kept some cash coming in by morphing her website that sold strictly eyelash extension products. Now she is teaming up with other local business owners to sell other beauty items just sitting on their shelves and she gets a cut of those sales.

Gisele Tyler's website sells her products and those of other small businesses

“We started selling lash strips and adhesives and cleansers and conditioners.  We have now grown it to offer hair care products that clients have been trying to get their hands on, nail care products," she said.

She's selling Amy Kahn Russell’s items too.

The Ridgefield jewelry maker has had to ditch trade shows and is trying other approaches like Tyler’s website, and even a live appearance on an overseas home shopping channel, to sell her wares. 

“What used to be isn’t anymore and you just have to be creative about how you approach things, how are we going forward?  What are businesses in day to day operations gonna look like?” Kahn Russel said.

The coronavirus shutdown sent shockwaves through Cindy Ruszczyk’s Wallingford consignment shop.

“A lot of anxiety a lot of stress a lot of fear,” Ruszczyk said.

She adapted too.  Not with a website, but putting her items for sale on her Facebook page, and offering curbside pickup. Ruszczyk said she has been doing about 25% of the business she would do under normal circumstances, but every little bit helps.

“I do think I’m going to continue doing it afterwards, my clients and my customers love it”, Ruszczyk said.

In the future Ruszczyk envisions a time when her online business will enable her to cut back the actual number of hours her store is open and reduce overhead, but still sell her items to customers.

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