COVID-19 challenges small business owners

March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. A day to celebrate small business owners and a wonderful reminder that small business owners create local economic growth and provide 70% of all new jobs in this country.

Unfortunately, small businesses are greatly impacted by the coronavirus with some reporting they have lost 95% of their business.

Consumers looking to help small businesses are encouraged to purchase gift cards, buy online, order pick-up or delivery service, and tip well. For small business owners this sudden drop of customers can spell the difference between surviving the pandemic and closing their doors forever.


TDS provides services to about 26,000 small businesses across the country. About 85 TDS employees work in commercial roles ranging from account executives, account managers, sales managers, inside sales representatives, and business sales advisors.

Michele Slattery, director of Sales, notes this is a time of unrest for our clients. “Our businesses are facing a real threat. This is especially tough on retail, restaurants, hospitality and travel industries,” she said. “We are ready to help where needed.”

TDS’ Tenzin Lhatsang, manager of Business Sales, said he finds small business owners “passionate about their business, driven, motivated to do their best and budget-minded.”

These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises.  Many love what they do, so this is difficult.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has resources to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is encouraging  small businesses to check out its “COVID-19 Small Business Resources” webpage.

Because this is a difficult time for small business owners, meet these three small business owners that TDS provides services to in our cable markets and learn what they love about running their own business.

Tilted-Kiln.jpgThe Tilted Kiln, St. George, Utah
The Tilted Kiln is a family-owned and operated pottery and ceramics studio and supply store. The St. George business has postponed its classes for the next few weeks and owners Joe and Emilie Bott are optimistic about the future of their business.

“We provide a great environment to create and paint pottery. We enjoy the friendships we build in the community. Our customers are more like family than customers. We are pulling together and helping each other out during this time. The friends and loved ones are what makes it all worth it,” Joe said.


Stage Coach Grille, La Verkin, Utah
StageCoachGrille2-sm.jpgThe Stage Coach Grille is located near Zion National Park. Owner Rich Tabish said they are working hard to “stay connected with our loyal customers in La Verkin through this crisis.” The Stage Coach Grille now has online ordering. “Visit, place an order and we’ll run it out to you when you get here!”

Tabish said his restaurant uses fresh ingredients and never compromises on quality. “I love serving our local friends and neighbors.” Whenever possible, Tabish purchases from local purveyors. “Most importantly, we have brought together a wonderful group of locals that make up our crew, who are professional and friendly to our customers,” he said.

Taharaa Mountain Lodge, Estes Park, Colorado
TaharaaMoutainLodge-sm.jpgTaharaa Mountain Lodge offers visitors to the Estes Park Valley a secluded getaway and spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. Owners Thad Eggen and Sandra Huerta are asking those who have stayed with them before to provide a positive review on Yelp! “If you’ve hosted your wedding here, we would greatly appreciate if you took a few moments and left us a review.”

The lodge has nine rooms and nine suites that provide amazing views of the mountains. The bed and breakfast offer all the amenities and comforts of a world-class lodge. “We love where we work and we really enjoy introducing our guests to the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.”

TDS congratulates all of its small business customers. Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day by showing your support and shop local.

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