3 Inspiring Small Business Stories on How to Survive During Covid-19 - ToOLOwl
Tuesday , May 21 2024

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3 Inspiring Small Business Stories on How to Survive During Covid-19

What do you think could possibly be in common between a taco shop operator, a professional event planner and a physical therapist? Well, they all are owners of small business who are thriving to survive in the storm that is COVID-19 pandemic. They have pretty inspiring stories that can be great examples of how small businesses are using community, connections and creativeness to bridge the gap between business and survival.

Let’s meet these business owners, shall we?

Bettina Stern, CO-owner of Chaia Taco

An exceptional shop offering deliciously rich tacos with vegetable is situated in the midst of Washington DC. Chaia Taco has two branches in the DC where they try to offer quick services along with the essence of fine dining. Keeping the authenticity of “Farm Tacos” alive, tacos here are explicitly made with local and freshest organic greens unconventionally prepared from scratch. The food is undeniably blend with rich spices, mouth-watering toppings and house made salsas; all combined and tucked into a barbequed corn tortilla.

Dr. Fred Gilbert, Co-owner and Chief People Officer at MovementX

MovementX has a lot to offer you, one such thing is mobile, one-on-one, hands-on physical therapy. The professional customized services delivered by physical therapists is exceptional as they treat clients where they live, work and exercise. MovementX believes in the power of transformational movements, if you are moving in the right direction, then you are certainly liable to find the cure for the most fulfilling and heathiest lifestyles. The company’s mobile services have helped clients to receive top quality care at the location of your choice with absolutely, no line, no wait and not a single trip to the clinic.

Charlotte Reid, Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Reid-Rodell

Reid-Rodell completely falls into the category of full-time event planning firm, targeting in making memorable as well as a best-in-class approach within the USA and the rest of the world. All types of events are organized here for companies of every form and size. These events can be for a political fundraiser, social and business receptions, national and international conferences, brand launches, non-profit galas, and more. The events organized by Reid-Rodell also expands towards the road of social gatherings such as weddings, funerals, milestone birthdays, as well as college reunions or alumni meet. The company finds pride and modesty in anticipating the needs of clients and executing their imagination into something exceptional in reality.

The Impact of Pandemic

Stern’s point of view:

“It is undeniably the toughest times faced by Chaia and the rest of the world. Sales are almost going down the drain by 80% pre-virus.” The ruthlessness of the Covid-19 catastrophe has jeopardised the sales as well as community connections on an utterly unfamiliar ground. On March 15, the restaurant was closed for the usual in-dining services. The decision for closing the shop was made days before the Mayor’s announcement to fold orders from people to shield the workforce, clients, and most importantly the society from the brutal impact of this pandemic.

Gilbert’s point of view:

There was an intense rundown in business due to the inevitable impact caused by COVID-19 pandemic where the patients and shareholders received the deportments from the circumstances. According to Gilbert, “It was pretty evident when people underwent lockdown that distancing would result greatly into serving clients or patients for MovementX.” Therefore, in order to survive, the business had to find alternatives pronto to carry on with serving patients with utmost safety.

Reid’s point of view:

Reid’s business is mostly based on physical gatherings, so when lockdown and distancing started, the company straight-up lost 95% of their schedules events. Reid said they quickly need to pivot and adjust their business model so that they can make up for the lost time.

The Pandemic Pivot


Chaia, as most of the restaurant businesses have found its way to a solution to upsurge its business amidst the cloud of the said pandemic. A few options undertaken are as follows:

  • Offer pick-up deliveries and take-out
  • As of the limited touching, Chaia minimized employee exposure and they now mingle with a team of two people.


  • They key changes in the business model were the ways in which MonumentX serves its patients. The new model demands that there should be 6-10 feet distance between the patient and therapist. Also, in-person treatments are reserved for desperate times.
  • A virtual Age Proof Your Body program has been initiated that consists of 8 weeks training sessions for people aged above 60 and who thinks staying fit and healthy is the top most priority.


Reid believes that birthdays, weddings and graduation ceremonies deserves a great party; and life altering occasions as well as funerals need to be honoured. Henceforth, they changed their business model into something that could help organize virtual events to keep it preventive. A number of people believed that they could enjoy events virtually on various platforms; but they cannot have the same outcome as compared to conducting events in a traditional way. Reid’s goal is to dig deeper and pave their way to provide their clients a warm and memorable experience through virtual platforms and make it as seamless as possible.

Planning for the future


Resilience is personified by Chaia by their exceptional ways to survive as well as serve in the midst of chaos. They are dedicated to positively contribute to the society. Chaia thinks big, which will lead them to working collaboratively within their neighbourhood and avoid risks at all costs.


Signs of resiliency has given us hope to survive in this time of global pandemic – says Gilbert. The willingness of patients to try novel digital solutions will provide a sense of consistency in terms of support offered to them. Moving forward, MovementX is going to strengthen the innovative ideas to continue serve their clients in the best way possible, along with the necessary actions required to be taken. As we all know, physical activity plays a vital role in keeping the society moving, so MovementX will ensure to keep up the innovation while this crisis lasts.


Searching for new ways to deliver the best with seamless technological solutions is our only constant. Reid understands that COVID-19 will be having a social and economic impact, so their team is ready for a permanent change and make adjustments in the business model that will be an optimal solution for conducting virtual events. They are ready to survive experience collectively by consulting their partners and clients to pivot the business. The bottom line to adopt a solution to glide through the long run as well as offer essential by distant platforms.

Lessons Learned  


Chaia realises that leadership and connection with the society is all about delivering authentic support. What we believe is overall connected to:

  • Stay significant and essential
  • Go beyond the ways to take care of your team
  • Lead the market by being on the very tops
  • Look forward to whether this storm together
  • Work hand-in-hand to keep our morale up


You can never plan for moments like these. Being a physical activity service provider, we thought that we are immortal of the recession period. But guess what? We were indeed surprised to know that how much this pandemic has affected us and other business in the industry. The company at its core is meant to serve the patients, and during this time of pandemic, it is not going to change the way it operates when the takes a drastic U-turn.


Apparently we all have learnt the hard way that the virtual events can only be successful if the content is extremely rich and the guests don’t get tired or distracted. However, Reid says that the remarkable virtual settings have been a boon for getting more opportunities. We as an establishment are eager to serve people virtually and are also delightful to shower our loyal customers with food, balloons, gifts and a lot of special goods.

The Bottom Line!

At last, let’s just say “The Show must go on!” Now that we have heard about how these businesses have survived and are continuing to survive the pandemic, it is time to take some learnings out of it. All the three owners of the respective small businesses have done a tremendous jobs by changing their business models and switch to virtual systems with some major compromise. This shows that no matter how hard the time may be, each and every one of us should make an effort to get through the situation in a positive way.

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