How These Small Businesses Are Maintaining Amid COVID-19

Lady smiling with hand on hip
Jumoke Dada, technology consultant and founder of the Tech Women Network.

We’ve read the headlines. Since COVID-19 settled in around March, the economic effect on small businesses has been devastating. Some have adjusted, some have pivoted, but some have shut down.

 

Small businesses to many local communities are a source of pride and joy. They create jobs, bring innovation to neighborhoods that need it the most, and according to the Small Business Administration, they represent 99 percent of the businesses in the United States.

 

So, to celebrate small businesses owners and their ability to stay afloat in these tough times, we’re highlighting three of our friends who are making things happen despite the odds.

 

TNJ.com: What do you do?

 

Jumoke Dada: I’m a technology consultant and founder of the Tech Women Network. I provide technical project manage consulting services to companies and I create tools for women interested in careers in technology.

 

TNJ.com: Has your industry been impacted by COVID-19? If so, what if any adjustments have you had to make to your business model/strategy?

 

Jumoke Dada: Overall, the technology industry as a whole seems to have weathered the storm pretty well. I was heavily impacted in the event space. I typically host an annual conference for women of color in tech called the HUE Tech Summit.

 

We were only a few weeks away when the pandemic hit. We had to postpone and watch the news to determine if we should cancel. In the end, we held the summit in the fall and spread it across multiple days. That is an example of one of the adjustments that I’ve made… pivoting to virtual events.

 

TNJ.com: What’s the bright side?

 

Jumoke Dada: A new day is around the corner; we’ll have new leadership in the White House, and the tech industry is resilient. And now more than ever, Black women in tech are in demand.

 

Man posing in the street
Joanes Prosper, CEO of Prosper Digital TV

 

TNJ.com: What do you do?

 

Joanes Prosper: I am the CEO of Prosper Digital TV, a full service video production and digital marketing company that focuses on purpose driven content. We work with agencies, corporations, and brands to help them to more deeply engage with their audience.

 

TNJ.com: Has your industry been impacted by COVID-19? If so, what if any adjustments have you had to make to your business model/strategy? 

 

Joanes Prosper: Yes. We have been drastically impacted by COVID-19 because a lot of work requires physical location production. The changes we made were to help more companies with live streaming and virtual production services so that they could still continue to connect with their audience.

 

TNJ.com: What’s the bright side? 

 

Joanes Prosper: The bright side is that this has accelerated our live streaming and virtual services.

 

Man posing in front of a black background
P.K. Kersey, executive director, THAT SUITS YOU.

 

TNJ.com: What do you do?

P.K. Kersey: I am the executive director of a non-profit called THAT SUITS YOU.

 

TNJ.com: Has your industry/company been impacted by COVID-19? If so, have you had to make any adjustments to your business model/strategy? 

P.K. Kersey: We generally partner with schools and colleges to present workshops to students about image and development along with providing professional attire. So with most of the educational industry being remote now, we have been severely impacted.

As a result, we had to create, promote and conduct nearly 100 percent virtual presentations to pivot our business.  While they have been very successful, it is very different from our normal practices.

 

TNJ.com: What’s the bright side? 

P.K. Kersey: The bright side is we can reach an unlimited among of clients with virtual presentations as opposed to in person meetings. Also, recorded presentations can be reused unlimited times, which can increase effectiveness.