HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There’s explosive economic growth going on across the Huntsville area with billions of dollars being invested and thousands of jobs being created.
While much of the area expands, many small businesses in the area continue to suffer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A strip mall off of North Memorial Parkway has commonly seen businesses come and go, but parts of north Huntsville isn’t the only area where businesses owners have taken a hit.
Small businesses across the city have been seeing fewer and fewer customers.
“It caused me to stop working because I had to quarantine and then cost me financially to where I lost my space in the salon,” said Glenn King, who recently opened his own Huntsville salon.
King has been cutting hair for nearly 15 years.
He says the pandemic has made times tough for him as a business man.
Loss of customers cost him 16 days without work in January – that hap nearly devastated his livelihood.
“It can take a chunk out of your life finically and it can really mess up a lot of things,” King said.
Without a salon to cut hair, King says he took matters into his own hands and started a mobile hair cutting business.
The key to surviving the pandemic, King says, is being able to adapt.
“You’ve got to find a way to make it work,” he said. “You’ve got to work around whatever parameters somebody else has set, the state or the federal government. You’ve got to figure out a way to do your business and be able to do it successfully even during these toughest times and that’s who’s going to survive. Small businesses that are really passionate about their work and really want to succeed.”
There have been multiple businesses that have closed in Huntsville since March of 2020.
News 19 reached out to multiple small business agencies and was unable to get an exact number of closures.
Businesses, like hair salons, aren’t the only brick and mortar establishments suffering through COVID-19.
“Business was really good when this all came down,” said Mark Komara, owner of Furniture Factory Bar & Grill. “It came to an abrupt halt almost overnight.”
Komara says he lost 40 to 50 percent of his customers since this time last year but business is starting to come back.
“It’s slowly but surely starting to get back to normal and it will as these protocols and things go away and people get cured of COVID,” Komara said.