Dubuque Chamber of Commerce reports many have decided to start their own business despite the pandemic

The CEO of the Chamber of Commerce said many business owners have found gaps in products or...
The CEO of the Chamber of Commerce said many business owners have found gaps in products or services that are still needed in the area.
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 10:39 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Erica Brewer opened her boutique, Belle Allure, three weeks ago.

She said the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic did not stop her.

”I have seen a lot of people shutting down and I was like, ‘I do not want to be one of those people’,” she said. ”Everything was slowed down, so I was able to save a little and then get a little stuff in and then focus more also because I was not in school anymore.”

Erica started small, but soon realized this could end up being bigger than what she had anticipated.

”People was just requesting like custom made items, and it expanded to where I was delivering and I started thinking about adding more to it, so I added clothes to it and I grew out of my space at home,” she explained.

What has surprised her the most, though, has been that support from her community.

”I grew up here; I have been here since the third grade,” she said. “Everyone that I grew up with, school, peers, teachers, they support me a lot.”

Molly Grover with the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce said that is precisely what has helped so many small businesses succeed during these times.

”This community knows how to work together and no dream or no goal is too big when we decide to put our resources together and work together to make things happen,” Grover explained.

She said she has worked closely with many of these business owners and she can tell they share similar traits.

”The openness to risk, stepping outside the box and being willing to take that risk,” she mentioned. ”I think innovation and creativity, being able to look at your community through a different lens.”

Grover said many of these entrepreneurs have found gaps where certain services or products are still needed.

She added Dubuque is very cost-effective compared to other parts of the country when it comes to opening a business.

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