Grocer describes challenge of starting up during a pandemic

Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 20:13:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The coronavirus pandemic isn't stopping entrepreneurs from starting new businesses.

The city of Kansas City, Missouri, has seen a surge in the number of people applying for or renewing business licenses.

One business owner getting ready to open a grocery store in Midtown is Shawn Choudry, who is co-owner of the new Midtown Market near East 40th and Main streets. The store is set to open in early September.

Choudry said he originally planned to have the business open several months ago, but work was halted when the pandemic hit.

"It just kinda killed it," Choudy said. "It's very rough and tough, but we got through it, I think. Fingers crossed, we're almost there."

Choudry said work started again slowly when the economy reopened in May and June, but he faced plenty of challenges, including not being able to get contractors to do the work.

"You get the materials one day and the other day you can't find anybody to get you the product you need to finish up the process," Choudry said.

He is one of hundreds of local entrepreneurs chasing the goal of owning their own business.

KC BizCare Manager Nia Richardson said about 100 new businesses have started every month since March.

"I think when the pandemic really first hit we started to see people calling us or trying to come in and start a business, because they were unsure about their jobs or they were unsure if the locations would be open," Richardson said.

She said she was surprised to see so many people wanting to get a business license or renew one Monday when the city's business license office reopened.

"For us to be in the middle of the pandemic, even we're surprised at the number of people coming in asking for resources," Richardson said.

Choudry said he is currently hiring employees for his store. Anyone interested should visit the store's Facebook page or call the Midtown Market.

"We're looking for people," he said. "We're looking for good people. We pay good, and we want long-term employees."

Choudry said people interested in applying can visit the store's Facebook page or call the store number.

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