The Struggle of a Small Business Owner

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The Struggle of a Small Business Owner

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Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic and my time in quarantine, I struggled with a multitude of things. I was distraught over my senior year being taken away, lonely from the lack of human connection and interaction, and full of anxiety and fear because everything about this virus and the future was still very much unknown. But none of this compared to my biggest and most upsetting struggle. Coincidently this struggle of mine wasn’t even my own, it happened to be my father’s.
My father owns a vintage bowling alley named; The Fox Bowling Center located in a small town in Upstate New York. For over 25 years my father has owned and operated this bowling alley, and he has been involved with this business since he was 9 years old when his parents bought it in the early seventies. This bowling alley has been an integral part of my father’s life for almost 50 years, and during March of this year he had to shut down business due to the Covid-19 pandemic. My father was absolutely distraught and shattered over this news. He was worrying constantly over the future and when things might take a turn for the better so he could open back up. He also struggled severely with trying to pay bills and manage the money in a time when he had zero income.
I think seeing my father struggle with money issues really hit home for me the most. The bowling alley never really made a lot of money to begin with, and when this happened he had nothing to fall back on. He worked tirelessly on trying to secure any type of loan that would help him just pay the bills and keep the business afloat. Seeing him go through this each day was torture. I just wanted to help in some way and tell him that everything was going to be okay, but I had no money to offer him and in total honesty I had no idea what the future held for small business owners like my father.
Even though watching my father go through all this pain and sadness was one of the worst things I ever witnessed, he still managed to teach me some amazing life lessons I will cherish forever. He showed me to always persevere and look towards the future, and he also showed me that you can’t give up on the things you love and hold dear.
I’m happy to also share that because of his hard work and perseverance with financial issues, he is able to reopen now that bowling alleys are allowed to open back up in New York. My father is overjoyed and can’t wait to have his loyal customers and friends bowling once again, even if it is a little different.
I will never forget his struggle to keep the business open and when I think about those long months in the future I will always remember his hard work and dedication.

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This item was submitted on September 11, 2020 by Brenna G. using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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