Before the coronavirus pandemic, 305 Fitness — a dance cardio workout experience designed to promote body positivity — was thriving, with locations in major cities across the country; now, Sadie Kurzban, the company's founder and CEO, says business is just 2% of what it was 45 days ago. Still, she's offering her classes online for free because she loves the community around her small business.
"I love my business. It's very inspiring for people to show up for me," Sadie Kurzban says in the first episode of Bustle's new YouTube series, Small Business Salutes. "I have to continue to raise hell and show up for myself," she says.
Independent companies are being hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of them are struggling to stay afloat while social distancing regulations limit how customers can utilize their business. The Federal Reserve is backing low-interest loans to small businesses, but the demand is high and the process is slow. Even with these loans, not all of the locally owned restaurants, fitness studios, or craft stores that give your neighborhood its character will make it through the pandemic. In the meantime, many are scrambling to come up with ways to create revenue, like offering virtual classes, selling goods online, and providing delivery services.
Though Kurzban is not taking her salary until she is able to reopen, she's found a way to make it work. By offering free live workout videos on YouTube every day at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET, Kurzban is growing the 305 community so that when she is able to open doors back up to the public, business will not only resume, but flourish.
"Just because we don't have peoples' wallet share right now doesn't mean we don't have their attention," Kurzban says of the new business plan. "Thousands of people are turning into these workouts, people from all around the world."
The comments that participants share in the live stream videos show just how well these efforts are being received. On a recent Hip Hop Dance Workout livestream, one user commented "You were so much fun sister. New subscriber. My bruv sent me this link cause he knew I’d love it and I did! Big love!!!"
Kurzban says the 305 philosophy is "about moving our bodies because we like ourselves, not because we want to punish ourselves." During an unprecedentedly scary time, this mantra is particularly easy to appreciate.
We are shining a spotlight on some of the millions of small businesses now challenged by COVID-19. This is part of an ongoing commitment our parent company, Bustle Digital Group, is making to support small businesses throughout the entire month of May. Tell us about your favorite small business on social media using #SmallBusinessSalutes.