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Small Business Week still a go despite pandemic, event goes virtual

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 08:20:51-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — In the midst of the pandemic, Colorado's small business community is still pushing ahead and finding ways to support each other.

While so many events have been canceled, the annual Small Business Week is still a go. However, the event looks pretty different this year.

Jonathan Liebert, CEO & executive director of Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, said, "We can't do it in a room so much as we used to do it."

The Food Truck Cook-Off, which usually draws thousands of people, isn't happening either. The event has been changed to License to Eat.

Despite the setbacks brought on by COVID-19, Aikta Marcoulier, executive director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, said, "It was so important for us to push on, pivot ourselves, bring our entire week virtually to our community."

Over the next week, free online seminars will be available to small businesses.

Marcoulier said, "The BBB and the Small Business Development Center have been partnering to ensure that we're bringing relevant information to the community."

Liebert said, "It's all about what do you do inside this pandemic? What do you do right now with things being weird and strange and different?"

He went on to share that "There are some common misconceptions, I think, that businesses may have...there's some businesses that are kind of scaling back their marketing dollars to maybe save some money and that's the number one thing the whole panel said - don't do that."

News 5 spoke with some of the small businesses that are participating. Christina Voreadis, co-owner/marketing & event coordinator for Go Fish Food Truck, said, "I wouldn't miss this week...it's an unprecedented time for everyone and so just kind of learning what to do and how to meet the needs of your customers because now those needs are changing."

Tina Schwaner, the owner of Frayla Boutique, said, "I really liked the class that was about burnout, avoiding burnout. I think that's something small business people can do on a regular day...it's just a great concentrated way to maybe get re-motivated and figure things out."

The event isn't just about educating businesses.

Liebert said, "We just want to hit pause for a moment and really kind of celebrate the businesses that have done phenomenal things during the pandemic."

Small Business Week runs from July 27-31. CLICK HERE for more information.