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Served lemons by coronavirus, entrepreneurs make lemonade

Tom Purcell on

When life serves you lemons, you make lemonade.

That’s the thinking of no small number of bold Americans who are starting new businesses amid COVID-19’s disruption.

According to Philadelphia PBS station WHYY, applications for new businesses are soaring. They’re up 19% nationwide and 15% in Pennsylvania from pre-COVID levels, when the economy was doing very well indeed - until the daggone bug messed everything up.

With so many people still out of work, some are using the opportunity to pursue their lifelong dream of creating and running their own businesses.

WHYY shares the story of Philadelphia native Derwood Selby, who lost a good job in March as a food and beverage supervisor at a Marriott hotel.

“I started sweating,” Selby tells WHYY. “How the heck was I going to get some money?”

 

Like millions of Americans, Selby had good reason to worry. In April, Pennsylvania unemployment reached a historic peak of 16.1% - a level not seen since the Great Depression.

But rather than dwell on the negative, Selby focused on the positive.

“Pretty soon,” reports WHYY, “he found himself thinking seriously about an idea he had a few years ago: starting a business selling produce, along with his own line of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, at local farmers’ markets.”

Selby researched potential products. He enrolled in a small-business course at Temple University to learn how to develop a financial plan and use social media to market his goods.

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Copyright 2020 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com
 

 

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