advertising agency

Staying Strong During COVID-19: How Small Businesses are Coping

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted our world and changed the way we live forever. From traveling to grocery shopping, everything looks different right now.

While life has changed for all of us, the lives of small business owners have been especially turbulent. From new restrictions to tightened budgets, COVID-19 has created many new challenges for small business owners.

In the midst of the pandemic, we took a minute to check in with a few of our clients to see how they were coping with COVID-19. What we found is that small businesses and their owners are tough, strong, and ready to face every challenge with a positive attitude and an innovative solution.

The Groomsman Suit

With weddings being cancelled left and right, tuxedo rental service The Groomsman Suit knew they needed to act fast.

“It is estimated that nearly 50% of couples will postpone their wedding to the later half of 2020 or into 2021 due to COVID-19. An additional, 6.5% of 2020 weddings will be canceled. As a result, The Groomsman Suit reacted quickly to the changing economic and social landscape,” said co-founder, Jeanne Foley.

“In effort to salvage showroom traffic in 3 of our brick and mortar locations (Chicago, Philly + Denver), we quickly rolled out Virtual Showroom Appointments to help couples plan their wedding style from home. Response to this new offering has been very positive and has allowed our team to meet with couples from New York to Hawaii who have later wedding dates and are taking this opportunity to plan from home.

Our main focus has always been serving our customers the best way we can. Couples have been planning their dream day for up to a year and they are now making the very difficult decision to postpone or even cancel, it’s truly heartbreaking.”

Era Organics

“We panicked like everyone else, but decided to focus on products people need even during a crisis like products for damaged skin, eczema, rashes, baby care, etc., and then also quickly developed and launched some premium organic aloe vera gels so people can make their own hand sanitizers since the whole industry ran out,” said Tyler Chase, owner of Era Organics.

“On top of that, we did a big push on our content since so many people are stuck at home, figured we can help give them good information on taking better care of their skin using natural products and help educate on what chemicals to avoid to have healthier, happier skin.”


“About six weeks ago, the company made the quick decision to completely re-haul their advertising and direct marketing. They took down all ads that had a “polished” look (e.g., models, cute baby, clean white backgrounds) and started using ads with real people using the product in their homes,” said TushBaby co-founder Sara Azadi.

“The messaging was simple: hold your child with ease while at home or on a walk. Similarly, TushBaby started creating content on how to best use TushBaby at home and asked physical therapist[s] and other healthcare professionals for tips and tricks on how to stay healthy while using TushBaby. Currently, the ROA is hovering around 6:1 and best of all, customers are adding their own content and perspectives to social media, often saying TushBaby is a must-have product given current circumstances.”


“We are seeing a significant uptick in our business here at CUDDLY,” said John Hussey, CEO and founder of CUDDLY Inc.

“Our sheltering partners are helping more animals, people are stepping up to foster while at home, and our donor community is energized to support our rescues during this crisis. CUDDLY was built to support our sheltering partners that require donations [and] products so they can save more animals – our platform is perfectly positioned to help.”

Evoke Candle Co.

“As a company that makes and sells candles, an item typically purchased for home use, we’ve been offering sales with deeper discounts than we might normally offer, as well as sharing work from home tips and self care ideas across our social media.  We want our customers to embrace the “you’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home” mantra,” said Gina Giambalvo-Glockler, founder of Evoke Candle Co.

He Is All Boy

Susan Levy, president of He Is All Boy, took a calm and relaxed approach.

“I decided to stop stressing for a minute. For so many moms, schoolwork and homework at home have become a source of anxiety, arguments, and fights. We want our kids to learn in a fun way that brings them joy, and maybe even have time to check work emails, do some laundry, or exercise.”

Like many of our other clients, He Is All Boy turned a negative into a positive, using COVID-19 as a chance to help.

“That’s why we launched a new product! ABC Coloring Pages from He’s All Boy. A digital download is available via Amazon instantly after purchase. No going to the store, no waiting for delivery trucks, no cleaning packages with wipes, no leaving stuff outside for a week. Just click, download, laugh and learn.”

While there’s no denying that COVID-19 has been devastating for the entire world, our small business partners offer a small slice of positivity and hope that we can all stay strong, be resilient, and find new ways to keep working and growing despite the situation.

Contact your H2O sales rep to find out how we can help you promote your business with special discounts during this time!