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Starting a business amid the pandemic: Toledo owners share their experience

Newly opened Toledo small businesses took part in this year’s Small Business Saturday event, encouraging people to shop locally ahead of the holiday season.
Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 11:23 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Businesses like Toledo’s newest fashion destination Paul Anthony took a gamble on opening amid the pandemic.

“When you support local businesses, your money is going to a greater cause really,” said Paul Anthony owner Mike Boyd. “It’s for your city, man. Who doesn’t want to see their city get to the top?”

Boyd opened his store after being laid off at the height of COVID-19 back in March. Boyd hand creates shoes, shirts, and sweatshirts from scratch. Paul Anthony also spotlights the work of half a dozen local Toledo designers inside its shop.

“I really can’t really necessarily say what I do,” said Boyd. “I just say I have a fashion brand because it touches so many different things.”

Wing Depot fired up its grills just one month ago in October, serving up burgers, fries, wings, and a full menu of freshly fried food. Manager Ahmad Imran saying the restaurant has had to adapt to stay open.

“We took a risk,” said Imran. “There’s a need you know. People are always going to be hungry, coronavirus, or not. We are only doing carry out and with coronavirus, it’s a little bit harder.”

Wing Depot located at 5318 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo, opened to the public in October.
Wing Depot located at 5318 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo, opened to the public in October.(Jack Bassett)

Metaphysical shop Gravity also chose 2020 to open its doors in October. Gravity owner Calee Zeman says starting her business has come with its fair share of headaches.

“It has been a lot, I will not say it hasn’t been difficult,” said Zeman. “The support from the community has been incredible, that constant push every day to keep going.”

Calee Zeman owner of spiritual shop Gravity opened her business in September and is located at...
Calee Zeman owner of spiritual shop Gravity opened her business in September and is located at 3109 West Sylvania Street in Toledo.(Jack Bassett)

Toledo owners saying to stay afloat they are relying on online ordering, unique inventory, and a whole lot of heart while taking a risk in 2020.

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