Tennessee sees an increase in new businesses during and after the pandemic

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 20:09:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — During the pandemic we saw many small businesses survive and others who simply couldn't make it.
It was also in 2020 when we saw an increase in new businesses and the numbers in the state continue to climb.

The last Yelp Economic Average showed a decreasing number of overall closures, 132,580 in total businesses across the country closed because of the pandemic and more than 97,900 permanently closed.

Main Street Alliance and Color of Change, conducted a poll that asked 600 entrepreneurs from all backgrounds how long they believed they could remain open in the current Coronavirus-slammed economy without government aid.

Only 40% of Black respondents said they could last more than six months, compared with 46% of Asian respondents, 48% of Latinx and 55% of white respondents. This was released in October of 2020.

However, new studies show despite financial hardship, there has been a surge of new business in states like Tennessee and Kentucky during the pandemic.

Maliyah Bass and Bariangela Segovia are living the dream when they opened Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream.

"We traveled to New York our junior year of college, and we tried rolled ice cream for the first time, we thought it was a cool concept, so we decided to put it on a food truck," Bass said.

It was such a success: the young women were ready to expand.

"We were in the process of trying to open a store before the pandemic, it just so happened that the pandemic hit in the middle of our plans," said Bass.

The shop opened in October of 2020.

"Even with finding a location and getting funding for the location banks would say, you know, why are these young girls trying to open up a store in the middle of a pandemic. So, we definitely had some turnaround because of that. "

In May of 2021, the National Bureau of Economic Research found more Tennesseans were applying for new business licenses during the pandemic.

"We just think outside the box and going back to the whole, you know, we just pray and, you know, pray that it all works out," Bass said.

Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream is one of the survivors.

"Whenever you jump and do a big leap, you always have a question at the back of your head, and I think we definitely made the right decision," said Bass, "since we've had a tremendous support, and I feel like our brand is growing."

The study also says Black-owned businesses in above-average income neighborhoods increased faster than other businesses.