Talk NewWest - Post Covid Businesses

This is the first in a new series that will include interviews and a talk show with various people

who are part of the public landscape of New Westminster. This episode is concentrating on three

business owners in New Westminster who against the odds started up a currently successful

business during the recent pandemic. The interviews look at the challenges for Zesty Lemon

Clothing Company owner Katerina Tsangorakis, Groove Cat Books and Records owner John

Hughes and Yum! Donuts owner Kim Collinshaw. Interviews cover the roadblocks to starting up a

business in New Westminster as well as the community support many of them experienced.

For all three owners, the support of the community as they faced challenges from both the

waning year of the pandemic and the obstacles of finding a location and making it work for them

was the biggest reward. Much of this support was garnered by all three businesses making good

use of social media to both reach out to the local community and to keep them in touch with

changes and events they planned to hold to help grow their followers. In the talk show portion,

they discuss and compare how each of them came to find their place in social media and why

they find it so valuable.

While acknowledging that the pandemic had an impact on retail, all three owners agreed that

they are pleased with the results of their startups. Kim of Yum! Donuts recalls the lineups on

opening week that left her exhausted. Katerina shares her doubts about her ability to continue,

even if successful, beyond her current five year lease. John agrees with Kim and Katerina that as

satifying as running your own business can be, it is a full time job and more.

Finally, at the end of the talk show, host Deni Loubert poses the question of what each of them

would do if the pandemic were to return. How would this affect their plans for their business.

Katerina's response that she would simply pivot to the needs of the situation is echoed by Kim

and John. Undeterred, they agree that they managed to start up a new business in the midst of a

pandemic and feel comfortable that they could keep this business going if Covid-19 returns to

wreck havok with retail again.

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