It's tough out there. But some small businesses have prospered – The Guardian

H

ow about a little good news? Countless companies are facing terrible circumstances as a result of the downturn. Many may never return. But, as the saying goes, one person’s problem is another person’s opportunity. So even though the economy has been devastated, millions have become unemployed and countless small businesses are facing ruin, others have prospered.

Tampa Bay’s Spaulding Decon, a cleaning company, has been – not surprisingly – busier than ever. “It’s been crazy. We’ve actually done over $30m in estimates in two weeks,” owner Laura Spaulding told the Tampa Bay Times. “In that period normally? It might be $100,000.”

The company, which has 24 offices across the country, has had its phones “ringing off the hook” and has been scrambling to hire extra workers to fulfill demand from restaurants, banks, government buildings, gyms and daycare facilities, even flying crews around the country to help in the busiest places.

Everyone’s been trapped indoors, which has been good news for a St Louis company called Puzzle Warehouse. The company has been breaking records selling puzzles, games and toys, shipping seven times the amount of items normally seen online and logging six times more sales in their store. “We’re not selling necessities,” marketing manager Greg Brown told the Riverfront Times. “We’re selling something to keep you entertained.”

Meanwhile, the online world has been booming. According to one report, e-commerce ad spending alone doubled in March, as consumers were forced to buy more stuff online. Of course, the giants like Amazon have benefited. But so also have the small craft makers on Etsy. They saw demand for masks explode, with the online platform disclosing that more than 12m face masks were sold during April, accounting for about $133m in sales. “It was like waking up and discovering it was Cyber Monday, except everyone in the world

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