Jennifer, in Cleveland Heights

At first, the stay at home order was interesting. It seemed like a challenge, as if I were going to have to go camping pioneer style without any modern camping equipment. I gave my employees the option of staying home or coming in to sort and clean and organize as if this would only be a short term inconvenience. They decided to stay home. I am now very grateful for their sacrifice!

The strange new landscape came more clearly into focus over the next few days. It wasn’t going to be just a couple of weeks, but months of no income. Rent, utilities, taxes, and loans still had to be paid.

My store, Cleveland Rocks and Beads, was designed to be a social gathering place, hosting parties and classes. It was a place where many other small businesses were conceived. Now, I spend every day of my isolation reinventing my store as an online shop. It is not the creative space that I had dreamed of when I decided to open a store, but this is our new virtual reality.

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