It’s been challenging, but some business owners say they had to take a leap of faith

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. — It has been a difficult year for so many, but it has also been a year of opportunities for some in northeastern and central Pennsylvania who have opened their own businesses in the past year: some from their homes, others in storefronts.

“I officially started running it in March of 2020. I was laid off from my job due to the sizing of the company I was working for. I did end up going back, but we were laid off for like three months. I’m a single mom, so I did need to have some kind of extra income,” said Danielle Rodriguez of Dunmore, who owns DHC Boutique.

They say it has been a scary time to start a business, but they have also been overwhelmed by people’s support since opening up shop.

“You can do baby steps and get to where you want to go, so you’ve got the time. You can think of other ways of doing it,” said Donna Pavalone, who runs Angel Wings Chunky Blankets from her Carbondale home.

At Designs by Olivia Grey in Clarks Summit, the owners have not only started their own business selling all-natural soy candles, but Matthew and Jennifer  Micciche are also helping other small business owners sell their products and donating money to help veterans in need.

“We opened our doors to the majority of them to allow them the platform of providing them a store…candles and other vendors as well,” said owners Matthew and Jennifer Micciche.

Those business owners say this crisis has many people focusing more on small businesses by helping and supporting those in their own communities.

They call that a great thing.

“I think COVID really opened people’s eyes, and they’re starting to see the benefits, and I hope the shop small movement stays,” said Jennifer Micciche.

The advice from those Newswatch 16 spoke with? Just do it.

“You’ve got to take a chance. If you don’t take that chance, you’re going to look back on it and regret it,” said Rodriguez. “My dream, my passion, was to have my own business and I did it!”