WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There’s been a lot of talk about government relief for small businesses, but not everyone is waiting.
COVID-19 has created new entrepreneurial opportunities in a number of industries from sanitation and personal care to delivery.
At Jon Smith Subs in West Palm Beach, the sandwiches aren't the only things that are hot.
"This is small business innovation at its finest," said Bradley Oyler, a partner and carpenter at Clear Safety Solutions.
On Thursday, Oyler installed more plexiglass barriers in the dining area of the restaurant, giving customers like Jonathan Cubbedge a safer dining experience.
"Whether it’s virus-related or not, it’s good to have a partition when you’re eating anyways. I have no problem with it," said Cubbedge.
The plexiglass barriers are the work of Clear Safety Solutions who’ve installed sneeze and cough guard barriers in restaurants, hotels, salons, and other public spaces across the state.
"I’ve got orders from Miami to Orlando," said Andy O’Brien, the owner of Clear Safety Solutions.
And would you believe it, O’Brien’s company is brand new.
"You have to find a customer," O’Brien said.
For more than a decade, O’Brien owned Palm Beach Pickers, an antique store and a vacation rental business, two industries hit hard by the pandemic.
"I had to do something," O’Brien said.
That something was using his carpentry skill to solve a problem in the market place. Experts like Tom Essaye, president of Sevens Report Research, said COVID-19 has both created and rebooted business opportunities for those who are flexible and willing to find problems to solve.
"Out of every crisis there are opportunities, and this will be no different," Essaye said. "If you’re going to start a business, you have to have a skill. There has to be a problem that this skill will solve. And you have to have a way to market it in the new world."
"That’s what it’s all about, finding different ways to manage a bad situation and making it better," said Cubbedge.
Clear Safety Solutions said as the need continues to increase they’ll be hiring more people with skills in carpentry and installation. Two new hires were made recently.
"And it’s not just for this one pandemic. It’s moving forward. It’s for the common cold. It’s for the common flu. Everybody wants a barrier between them," Oyler said.
To learn more about Clear Safety Solutions, click here.