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What It's Like Starting a Business During a Pandemic – Spectrum News

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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Downtown Concord held one of its first in-person events since the start of the pandemic. It was Small Business Saturday.


What You Need To Know

  • Union Street Market and The Mercantile are located on Union Street in downtown Concord.
  • Rose Strohminger and her daughter took over the business in early September.
  • Strohminger is also the owner of Budget Blinds, which is located two doors down from the market.

We spoke with a mom and her daughter about why they took over ownership of two businesses downtown.

Jessica Samson and her mom, Rose Strohminger, are on a mission. They want to keep North Carolina small businesses thriving. It’s why they carry dozens of local brands in their stores.

“We have some that are very local like Coddle Creek Farms,” Strohminger says.

Coddle Creek Farms is based in Mooresville.

Strohminger is now the owner of The Mercantile and Union Street Market, which are both connected by storefront, and her daughter is the general manager. They took over the businesses in early September after the previous owners experienced financial struggles due to COVID-19.

“We realized the importance of The Mercantile here for the people that work and live downtown, so we decided it was something we had to do,” Strohminger says.

Strohminger says she convinced her daughter to join the business and help run it. Samson used to be a paralegal.

“I worked at a real estate law firm doing foreclosures for five years, but with COVID that went on halt because nobody is getting foreclosed on right now,” Samson says.

The mom and daughter duo say supporting local business is extremely important to them.

“You’re just helping people on a personal basis rather than a corporation that you can’t even put a name to their face,” Samson says.

They say some have called them crazy for starting a small business during a pandemic, but they feel it’s their mission. Strohminger says she remembers in the 1980s when many downtown areas were filled with vacant buildings.

“This is where people should be, and if you let it all die, nobody will be here,” Strohminger says.

It’s why they’re determined to not let that happen.

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