Coming up: Starting a new business during the pandemic

The middle of a pandemic may seem like a strange time to start a business. But that’s what many people are doing. 

The number of business applications in the United States shot up to record numbers over the summer and remained strong through the fall. 

This is unusual during a recession. And, the trend offers a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak landscape as hundreds of thousands of small businesses struggle to survive during the pandemic and economic slowdown. 

The startups and new businesses include high-growth firms funded by venture capitalists, but also sole proprietorships and mom-and-pop establishments. Some people have launched side gigs to make up for a lost job or declining income. Other people are pursuing their dreams now because they have more time on their hands. Others were intending to open in 2020 and forged ahead despite challenges. 

Have you started a business recently? Are you

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Arcadia Group collapses – biggest business failure of the pandemic so far | Business News

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire has collapsed in the worst single corporate failure of the COVID-19 crisis to date, leaving 13,000 jobs hanging in the balance.

Administrators at Deloitte said they would now seek buyers for the business – whose brands ranging from Topshop and Topman to Dorothy Perkins and Burton “sit at the heart of the high street”.

Arcadia chief executive Ian Grabiner said it was an “incredibly sad day” and that the company had been unable to ride out the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic on trading.

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Arcadia’s ‘£350m’ pension deficit in focus

Sky News had exclusively revealed on Friday that the group was on the brink of going into administration following the failure of talks over a £30m loan to help offset a coronavirus cash bleed.

Arcadia operates from 444 sites in the UK and

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Brookline’s First Light Festival To Go Online Amid Pandemic

BROOKLINE, MA — Every Thursday after Thanksgiving, the town’s businesses have welcomed the holiday season by celebrating what’s called First Light: A night festival full of art, holiday lights and an excuse to get out and get some early holiday shopping in locally with the community.

This year, Brookline’s First Light is going online.

“The goal is for people to have a good time and maintain the tradition,” said Brookline Chamber Executive Director Debbie Miller. “I’m hoping it will shine a light on the local businesses and recognize that these businesses are bending over backwards to not only stay open, but provide the best service possible.”

More than two decades ago First Light began as a way for Washington Square businesses to bring a little holiday spirit and call attention to their shops and get folks to consider doing their holiday shopping locally at the area small businesses.

First Light

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Black Friday: Holiday Shopping in a Pandemic

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Gabby Jones for The New York Times

Retailers have experienced a stark split in fortunes during the pandemic. The mass shutdowns this spring fueled big-name bankruptcies and thousands of store closures. And the strong like Amazon and Walmart have only gotten stronger and more profitable, driven by their online businesses and ability to supply everything people need while stuck at home, from food to electronics.

Now, all retailers are entering their most important time of the year — the holiday shopping season that has long revolved around Black Friday.

Traditionally, the day has been known for doorbuster deals and early morning in-person shopping. This year, many of those deals began as early as October and were offered online, reflecting both the challenges physical stores face in the pandemic and the shift in how consumers

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Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) – In A Pandemic Here Are The Key Components To Bringing Your Business Online

No one could have predicted that in-person business in 2020 would be flipped upside down the way it has. Restaurants, retail stores, gyms, or pretty much any workplace that has close inter person contact has been disrupted, if not halted completely. Due to today’s climate, businesses are shifting their models due to new and changing needs of customers.

Why it’s important to bring your business online


Businesses that are not selling their products online are in a world of hurt right now. In-store shopping has a limited capacity on how many people are allowed in, as well as the mask requirements to enter the store. Customers now more than ever are turning to online solutions to fill their needs. This provides safety as well as convenience during uncertain times. If you have a business that is not prepared for selling online, you may already be many steps behind the competition.

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Business Survival in a Pandemic: The Importance of Local Ecosystems of Support – Non Profit News

Tudor Montague, owner of Sprit Mountain Roasting Company, pouring beans. Photo courtesy of author.

If the pandemic and the election have taught us anything, it is patience. Assume nothing; nothing is stable, and anything can change at any moment.

The one thing I do know for sure is that the pandemic and election season have shown us why systemic change is so necessary. Both President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris named systemic racism in their acceptance speeches as a top concern. The pandemic itself has revealed enormous cracks in our economic, social, and healthcare systems, exposing those most vulnerable to COVID-19: businesses, employees, essential workers, students, teachers, families. The list of impacts goes on.

What does all this mean for local business? We need to examine systems and how locally owned businesses and social enterprises participate in, contribute to, and evolve the system. As the pandemic traversed the

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Some Bay Area small businesses opting out of Cyber Monday online shopping event due to pandemic financial woes

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — A number of independently-owned Bay Area businesses that have been struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic are opting out of the ubiquitous Cyber Monday online shopping event.

While this Cyber Monday is predicted to be the largest in history, with nearly $13 billion in online shopping sales, the overhead costs of maintaining a web inventory are proving to be too much for some retailers this year.

RELATED: Bay Area small businesses struggling through pandemic plead with customers to shop early

Plants and Friends has two locations in San Francisco: one which opened in Hayes Valley in October of 2017, and another in Pacific Heights which opened its doors just 4 months before the pandemic began.

For the company, Small Business Saturday has traditionally been their busiest day of the year.

In 2020, sales were up 50% compared to a regular Saturday during the pandemic.


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Small Business Saturday more important than ever during pandemic

While many stores have suffered closures or loss of sales, business owners remain optimistic that Seattleites will continue supporting local businesses.

SEATTLE — Small Business Saturday meant more to businesses this year than ever before, with these very businesses already suffering due to the coronavirus. 

“I wanted to be intentional with bringing in and supporting local businesses here in Seattle,” said Sean Conroe, the general manager of B8ta’s in Seattle’s University Village. 

B8ta is a retail company that features small businesses trying to expand their reach to the public. 

Conroe said about 25% of sales they made on Saturday came directly from the six local brands they featured.

The pandemic has closed or altered the futures of many small businesses and left more reeling. Conroe believes the public is being more intentional with their money this year.

“I think people are more thoughtful with how they are spending,” he said.

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Avon business owner offers job to CCSU student struggling amid pandemic, loss of mother

AVON, Conn. (WTNH) — A student at Central Connecticut State University has a job now after reaching out to the community for help during Thanksgiving.

Julia Plunkett, 20, is a CCSU student. In a letter to WTNH this week, Julia wrote that in the last year she was homeless, she lost her mom to the flu, and – when the pandemic hit Connecticut in March – she lost her job.

“I was left to find my way,” she wrote. “And have struggled since.”

Just before Thanksgiving, she reached out to the Avon community on Facebook asking where she could get an inexpensive Thanksgiving meal.

“The outreach was overwhelming,” she wrote. “The whole community came out to help me.”

But one person in particular changed her fortunes the most.

Deanna Damen, the owner of Cake Gypsy in Avon offered not only to buy Julia a holiday meal, but offered her a

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Small business owner tries making his tequila bar a house of worship to stay open during pandemic

It’s worth a shot.

A tequila bar operator has applied to turn his patronage into a religion so that the 400 Rabbits Tequila and Mezcal Cocktail Bar can stay open amid pandemic restrictions in Nottinhamshire, England.

Barkeep James Aspell tells Nottinghamshire Live that he filled out paperwork to make The Church of 400 Rabbits a “place of worship,” though he hasn’t quite figured out details of the faith or how worship rituals might work out. Congregants can reportedly decide between being “a bunny believer” or “a reverend of the righteous rabbits.”

The 34-year-old entrepreneur concedes his efforts to become a quasi-holy man are a “joke,” but that his need to stay in business comes from a very Earthly “serious place.”

“Everything from gyms to massage parlors can stay open and even the Christmas markets are happening,” he said. “That was the point when I thought, this is ridiculous.”

a cup of coffee on a table: A tequila bar operator has applied to turn his patronage into a religion so that the the 400 Rabbits Tequila and Mezcal Cocktail Bar can stay open amid pandemic restrictions in Nottinhamshire, England.

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