March 12, 2021

Business owners say passion helped their business survive pandemic

Some small businesses and their employees have been devastated by COVID-19. This week, KCCI is…

Some small businesses and their employees have been devastated by COVID-19. This week, KCCI is looking back on how the pandemic changed lives forever in Iowa. KCCI’s Andrew Mollenbeck spoke with people behind some hard-hit businesses. Cyd Koehn built her business catering executive lunches, weddings and special events. But the gatherings that were the lifeblood of her company stopped completely one year ago.”I had a large St. Paddy’s Day party that was canceled, so I was realizing then that the phone calls started coming in to reschedule, to cancel,” Koehn said. “I was sort of numb. I didn’t really know what was going to happen.” What ended up happening was she used her savings, took out a second mortgage and cleared out her 401K to stay in business. The work she does get now requires everything to be individually packaged. “It’s expensive. It’s time-consuming,” Koehn said. “It’s hard to find containers. It’s very time-consuming. It takes three times as long to do it individually. I’m not a pizza place. I don’t have the cardboard boxes ready to serve people.”J.D. Daniels has been running Fredericks Tailoring and Quality Cleaners for more than 40 years. He said the switch to working from home and wearing sweats was the biggest change in his business. “Obviously I had to sacrifice my income, but it was worth staying in business, and if I had shut completely down there would be nothing for no one,” Daniels said. Daniels kept his two employees on the job, even if the work dropped 60%. He also had to put off plans to sell the business and retire. “I had an interested party until the pandemic hit, and things went south from there. I likened it to selling a vehicle, and they come for a test drive and the engine is sitting in the shop,” Daniels said. Despite the work falling off, he never seriously considered giving up on the business he built. “We sleep in the beds we make,” Daniels said. “Whether they be hard, soft or indifferent, and this is what I chose to do, and I’m still doing it until such time as I find someone else who wants to have this kind of fun.”For Koehn, hope and passion for what she does keep her going.”I am hoping that everyone gets their vaccination and we can all go back to normal,” Koehn said. “This is what I know. This is what I love. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Some small businesses and their employees have been devastated by COVID-19. This week, KCCI is looking back on how the pandemic changed lives forever in Iowa.

KCCI’s Andrew Mollenbeck spoke with people behind some hard-hit businesses.

Cyd Koehn built her business catering executive lunches, weddings and special events. But the gatherings that were the lifeblood of her company stopped completely one year ago.

“I had a large St. Paddy’s Day party that was canceled, so I was realizing then that the phone calls started coming in to reschedule, to cancel,” Koehn said. “I was sort of numb. I didn’t really know what was going to happen.”

What ended up happening was she used her savings, took out a second mortgage and cleared out her 401K to stay in business. The work she does get now requires everything to be individually packaged.

“It’s expensive. It’s time-consuming,” Koehn said. “It’s hard to find containers. It’s very time-consuming. It takes three times as long to do it individually. I’m not a pizza place. I don’t have the cardboard boxes ready to serve people.”

J.D. Daniels has been running Fredericks Tailoring and Quality Cleaners for more than 40 years. He said the switch to working from home and wearing sweats was the biggest change in his business.

“Obviously I had to sacrifice my income, but it was worth staying in business, and if I had shut completely down there would be nothing for no one,” Daniels said.

Daniels kept his two employees on the job, even if the work dropped 60%. He also had to put off plans to sell the business and retire.

“I had an interested party until the pandemic hit, and things went south from there. I likened it to selling a vehicle, and they come for a test drive and the engine is sitting in the shop,” Daniels said.

Despite the work falling off, he never seriously considered giving up on the business he built.

“We sleep in the beds we make,” Daniels said. “Whether they be hard, soft or indifferent, and this is what I chose to do, and I’m still doing it until such time as I find someone else who wants to have this kind of fun.”

For Koehn, hope and passion for what she does keep her going.

“I am hoping that everyone gets their vaccination and we can all go back to normal,” Koehn said. “This is what I know. This is what I love. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”