Philadelphia area small businesses working to rebound after COVID-19 pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone, but perhaps none more so than small business owners.

In addition to COVID, owners are now facing a whole new set of challenges: supply chain issues, inflation and labor shortages.

“For those of us who have made it this far, the worst is behind us. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Joe Tucker, founder and CEO of Tucker Law Group in Center City Philadelphia.

Tucker Law Group is a small company with fewer than 20 employees. Tucker said that when the pandemic hit, his company was able to respond quickly in large part because it was already technically ready.

“We had computer systems that allowed our people to work from home, so now we’ve expanded on that,” he said.

A new Bank of America report shows that 70% of small business owners have adopted new technology since the pandemic. And Tucker said it sheds light on the superpower of a small business, its ability to be nimble and change its daily workflow on the fly.

“Because we’re a small company, I think we’re more responsive to everyone’s needs,” he said.

Bank of America’s annual Small Business Owner Report also shows that the peak of the pandemic has been steadily recovering, but other factors are now weighing on the bottom line, like inflation causing calls for higher salaries.
“62 percent of them said we finally recovered from the pandemic and now they have all of this going,” said Carol Lee Mitchell, senior vice president, Bank of America Small Business.

But, interestingly, overall confidence in the economy has fallen.

“If you ask the business owner if they expect the revenue for their business to increase, an absolute 64% of them would say yes, no. I’m actually optimistic that my earnings will increase, and by the way, 48% of my earnings have already increased,” she said.

But a constant challenge is retaining employees and attracting new talent.

“Twenty percent of our business owners will raise wages for their employees just to keep them,” Mitchell said.
Tucker offers employees flexible hours and a sense of family.

“On Wednesdays, when we’re all here together, we serve lunch for everyone,” he said.

His company’s headlines are emphasizing what separates a small business from a large one and ensuring resilience and recovery.

“These small companies that I believe have made it through the pandemic, and continue to make it through the pandemic, are leaner, tougher, smarter and will continue to be profitable,” he said.

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