Covid-19 has affected businesses across the world. Some entrepreneurs have found novel ways to grow their business during the crisis while others are doing their best to stay afloat and keep their staff on board. We’ve shared some stories from the trenches below.

Vanessa Medina | Photographer

My business has definitely been hurting due to the impact of Covid-19. I’ve had many weddings and shoots postponed and I know it’s a lot harder on the couples because they are missing out on they’re special day but it’s also hard on all other parties involved as well. Each wedding and portrait session takes a lot of effort and planning. I go back and forth with each client discussing timeline and location as well as pre-scouting the area of the shoot. So since many have been postponed a lot of time and preplanning has been lost. Read more>>

Sally Gilles | Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger

My full time job is in the entertainment industry. I am a freelancer and spend most of my time on gameshows. Since most of these shows cannot function without an audience, I am out of work until the Covid-19 Crisis ends (or some restrictions are lifted). I am living off of unemployment like most of my colleagues and working hard to fill my days with productive activities. I have been able to spend a lot more time creating content for my blog and developing more ideas. Read more>>

Renee Bowen | Photographer & Life Coach

This “great pause” is still showing its effects on most small business owners and I’m no exception. As a professional photographer, I make my living by creating experiences for my clients – and selling products to them. No photoshoots = no income. Not only that, I specialize in working with High School Seniors, and now that their entire senior year has come to a screeching unwanted halt, I am dealing with trying to finish graduation orders without meeting in person and with a photography lab that is also shut down. It’s been challenging, to say the least. Read more>>

Irene Yaymadjian, PsyD. | Founder

Being the owner of a nonprofit organization is one of the hardest things one can do during a pandemic. It was very scary in the beginning when this first began, because most patients had lost their jobs and were not able to pay at all. Even though we are nonprofit we do rely on the fees that our patients were able to pay even if it was $10 a session. And not having even that really scared me and lead me to believe that HILLSIDE might not be able to strive or survive throughout the epidemic. But we didn’t let this stop us from helping as many people as we possibly could in the community. Read more>>

Melissa Frances | Social Media Manager & Blogger/Influencer

I primarily do social media management along with running my own blog and collaborations with brands. With COVID shutting so many businesses down many people have cut marketing budgets. Thus, I am loosing on both ends. I am having social media clients cut back on hours or completely walk away as they do not have the funds to pay for my services. While many brands do not have influencer budgets at this time to collaborate. So, I am feeling the financial strain with my business due to COVID. Read more>>

Emily Provansal | Co-Owner

Like most small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic completely altered the way we work. For us, being primarily in the events industry, our world has come to a complete stop. It’s a defining moment of make it or break out. We have to look at our business and where we’re able to pivot in order to create additional revenue channels and diversify our brand, while still staying true to our overall brand DNA. Being a young business, we are going back to our roots in social media and public relations, expanding our brand story outside of events. Read more>>

Jessica Klausing | Music Blogger

I think people are seeking music as a means to escape reality more so than ever. We’re all experiencing the same feelings of uncertainty right now. We’re all scared, anxious, alone and depressed. It’s a scary time. Music connects us to each other. Due to the shelter-at-home orders, most artists are live streaming to connect with music fans worldwide. Our local artists and businesses are struggling financially during this time. Many live music venues are facing foreclosure and, artists are being forced to cancel or postpone tours which is a major source of their income. Read more>>

Cat Kelley | Mixed Media Artist & Creativity Facilitator

Wow, that’s such a question for the times! Thank you for asking me to be a part of this feature. I teach mixed media art lessons and lead art events both locally and across the country. Covid-19 has changed the format of my classes but not the relationships and comradery that I have with my students. We’ve been using Zoom to conduct lessons since mid-March and it’s helped us to stay connected and continue creating together. I’m so grateful to live in a time with so much technology available to us and also to work in an industry that is adaptable to our current needs of social distancing. Read more>>

La Toya Bellamy | Artistic Director

It has affected us tremendously. We have been closed for two months now. My clients/ dancers get personal attention for myself and my wonderful instructors. I have applied for PPP twice and have been denied, Haven’t heard back from EIDL assistance. It’s has been a lot for myself and a minority black woman that is the owner of a business that deals with the youth community of Inglewood. My landlord is trying to get me out during the pandemic but I am not giving up on my dance family. I’ve had to make a GOFUND ME and getting ready to hold a fundraiser. Read more>>

Candase, Ashley and Dr. Brittany Chambers | Founders

One of the things we are proud of as business owners of Bay Belle, Inc. is taking every opportunity to tap into our creativity while giving our customers unique and urban pieces that they can see themselves wearing. During this COVID-19 crisis, our goal has remained the same but it has pushed us to pivot into other avenues and be even more creative while staying true to our brand. In the past month, we have started creating custom masks to meet the need during COVID-19 but also to give back to our community in Oakland, California. Read more>>

Patty Middlebrooks | Owner & Lead Artist

Often we hear of closing doors in favor of other ones opening, but usually, we are the ones holding the knobs. In March, when COVID-19 temporarily closed our studio, Meaning-Full Art, [Link: https://www.meaning-fullart.com/] where we practice and share in the art of Water Marbling, we were pushed forward in ways we couldn’t have expected. Something about the virus’ effect on Meaning-Full Art and those chapters in my life where I’ve willingly chosen a new direction began to feel parallel. I was forced to stand out on that same ledge; they haven’t repainted, and stare into that same murky fog. Read more>>

Evan Shafran | Actor, Rapper, Comedian & Teacher

As an independent artist and original content creator I have lost all my work due to Covid-19. I have been a sag/aftra union member for 10 years now. March 2nd, 2020 I had just started My first day doing stand in work on the new Tina Fey and Robert Carlock NBC comedy Starring Ted Danson when the virus hit. I have also been touring for the past 7 years as my “EVeryman.” EVeryman is a rapper and dj live show with all original lyrics that I write. I also collaborate with other artists in the electronic and bass music festival scenes. All of my live shows and music festivals were cancelled for 2020. Read more>>

Jay Parikh | Film Producer & Director

Being a filmmaker staying away from the creation is difficult. Putting everything on the hold was very tough at first as I was too close to start my projects. I was planning to release them later this year but the game has been changed with this pandemic. I am taking this time off more positively now. This time off is helping me to spend time with myself with no FoMo. This will help me get back to the routine with more energy and more clarity. I would rather call it a good affect on my business. Yes, there is a financial loss but the benefit is having more time to focus on me. Read more>>