The rise and fall of quarantine small businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 created a perfect storm for the rise of small businesses. With many people out of work and spending more time at home, there was a surge in the number of people starting small businesses from their homes. From homemade crafts to online coaching and consulting services, the pandemic created an environment that was ripe for small business growth. However, not all of these businesses were successful, and many have since failed. In this article, we will explore the rise and fall of quarantine small businesses and why some succeed while others did not.

One of the most significant factors in the success of small businesses during the pandemic was their ability to adapt quickly to the changing landscape. Many businesses were forced to pivot their business models in response to the pandemic, and those that were able to do so quickly and effectively were more likely to survive. For example, many restaurants quickly shifted to offering takeout and delivery services, while others began offering meal kits and pantry items for customers to prepare at home. This adaptability was critical in keeping these businesses afloat during a time when many were forced to close their doors.

Another important factor in the success of small businesses during the pandemic was their ability to connect with customers through social media. With people spending more time at home and on their phones, social media became an essential tool for small businesses to reach potential customers. Businesses that were able to build strong online communities and engage with their customers on social media were more likely to succeed. This connection also helped to create a sense of community around these businesses, which was particularly important during a time when people were feeling isolated and disconnected.

Yet, not all small businesses were able to succeed during the pandemic. Many businesses struggled to adapt quickly to the changing landscape, and others were simply unable to compete with larger, more established businesses. In addition, many small businesses lacked the financial resources to weather the storm of the pandemic. With many businesses forced to close their doors or limit their operations, small business owners were left with few options.

Moreover, the pandemic created a highly uncertain business environment, with constantly changing regulations and restrictions. For small businesses, this made it difficult to plan for the future and make informed decisions. The pandemic also caused significant supply chain disruptions, making it challenging for small businesses to source the materials and products they needed to operate.

Despite these challenges, many small businesses have found a new degree of success as a result of the pandemic. One of the key factors in their success was their ability to identify and respond to emerging trends quickly. For example, with more people working from home, there was a surge in demand for home office equipment and supplies. Small businesses were able to pivot to meet this demand and were able to thrive during the pandemic.

Social media played a significant role in the success of many small businesses during the pandemic. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok provided a way for small businesses to showcase their products and connect with potential customers. Many small businesses were able to build large followings on social media, which helped to drive sales and create a sense of community around their brand.

Brands and websites also jumped in on the train. Many large businesses like Tarte Cosmetics funded business trips for internet personalities during the pandemic that highlighted the gap between businesses that were successful and ones that were not. Additionally, many of these new successful businesses became sponsored or were sent free products by larger corporations who wanted a piece of the pie. During the tie-dyeing and mask craze of the pandemic, a wholesale apparel company out of Irvine, California; Blankstyle, was able to supply blank garments and masks to businesses of all sizes including DIY’ers across the country. This allowed many retail businesses and eCommerce shops like Etsy and Shopify stores to take advantage of and participate in the booming tie-dye trends and demands for masks occurring at that time.

“Because we were one of the only blank wholesale apparel suppliers in the USA able to meet the high demand of consumers, we were fortunate enough to thrive in an otherwise difficult time for most small businesses” – said CEO Mark Azzarito.

Originally based in Costa Mesa, CA as a t-shirt manufacturer in 2004, Blankstyle is a great example of how one small business was able to grow by leveraging the power of social media, while successfully pivoting to a clothing supplier for DIY markets and mask manufacturer in 2020.

One of the most successful types of small businesses during the pandemic was those in the e-commerce space. With more people shopping online than ever before, there was a surge in demand for e-commerce products and services. Small businesses that were able to establish a strong online presence and offer unique and compelling products were able to thrive during the pandemic. Places like Shopify and Etsy took major boosts due to this strictly online business. As a result, many of these online ecommerce platforms raised their fees in order to maximize profit on their platform for themselves. As a result, owning a small business, the very thing that made these platforms take off, became less and less profitable for small business owners. Therefore, if you did not have a massive fanbase, small businesses trying to establish themselves were facing massive fees and little profit.

Despite this, not all small businesses were able to succeed in the e-commerce space. With so many businesses vying for attention online, it was difficult for small businesses to stand out from the crowd. In addition, larger, more established e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Walmart dominated the market, making it challenging for smaller businesses to compete. Unless a small business had a large built-in audience, gaining traction became a struggle.

While the rise and fall of small businesses during the pandemic has been heartbreaking, there are a few key takeaways for those looking to start their own business. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the importance of a strong online presence. As we have seen, social media platforms like Instagram can be powerful tools in reaching potential customers and building a following. With that said, it’s important to remember that success on social media does not always translate to financial success. It’s crucial for businesses to have a solid business plan, understand their target audience, and price their products and services competitively.

Another key factor in the success of small businesses during the pandemic was their ability to adapt and pivot quickly. With constantly changing regulations and restrictions, it was important for businesses to be able to switch gears and find new ways to reach customers. This often meant offering online ordering and delivery services or creating new products that were more in line with current demand.

Finally, community support played a huge role in the success of many small businesses during the pandemic. As consumers looked to support local businesses, many entrepreneurs were able to build a loyal customer base in their communities. By offering high-quality products and exceptional customer service, these businesses were able to stand out and thrive during a difficult time.


In conclusion, the pandemic had a significant impact on small businesses around the world, and many entrepreneurs faced unprecedented challenges as they tried to keep their businesses afloat. However, through hard work, determination, and a willingness to adapt, many small businesses were able to survive and even thrive during the pandemic. As we move forward, small business owners need to continue to innovate and adapt to changing conditions and to remember that community support and a strong online presence can be powerful tools in building a successful business.