COVID-19’s impact on small businesses

Written by Katie Bragg, staff writer

DAYTON, Tenn. – Countless lives have been changed since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020. Economic downturns have significantly impacted businesses across the globe, and family-owned businesses are no exception.

 A survey conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that mass layoffs and closures occurred just four weeks into lockdown. Financial struggle increased for many of these businesses as worldwide fear led to a decrease in sales. 

Omni Rehab, a physical therapy office owned and operated by Travis Smith, experienced significant loss during the first months of lockdown. Financial manager Elizabeth Smith shares how the pandemic has affected Omni Rehab and how the business was able to make a strong recovery.

“At the beginning of the lockdown, folks were either not allowed out of their homes, or they were afraid to leave their homes,” Smith said. “Medical treatments that seemed to be optional were put on the back-burner for many people.” 

The unexpected lockdown caused discomfort and uncertainty for everyone in the workplace. But because of the employees’ dedication to making the office a safe and welcoming environment, Omni Rehab is now running smoothly and successfully treating patients from Pikeville, Dunlap and Dayton.

“It is difficult on our patients that their family members are not allowed to come in with them,” Smith said. “But everyone has been so kind and understanding. We are thankful to still be open and serving the people in our area.” 

Katie Bragg is a freshman at Bryan College with a major in communication, media, and culture and a minor in worship arts. In high school, Bragg participated in various activities such as gymnastics, 4-H clubs, and the worship team at her church. She enjoys writing and hopes to pursue a career in media.