Local business owner defies odds, opens up shop during COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — The health crisis has not stopped one Stateline community from opening new businesses. Over the past few months, nearly a dozen new businesses are welcoming customers in Freeport.

One owner tells us the pandemic hasn’t stopped him from chasing his dream. What started off as a business out of his garage led to him owning his own storefront.

“[I] decided it was time to do my own thing and now that I have my own business, I get to take care of the community. That’s why I”m here. I want to make sure this community thrives, I love Freeport,” said David Artman, the owner of Muddy Paws Pet Services.

Over eleven new businesses have opened up in Freeport in the last three months.

“In times like these, you tend to see a lot of entrepreneurism and a lot of people taking a chance an idea or passion that they have and make it into a business,” said Bill Clow of the Greater Freeport Partnership.

The road to establishing a business during the pandemic hasn’t been easy.

“It was scary. We didn’t know how we would come out of it once we do open are people going to trust that we’re a safe spot to still bring their dogs,” said Artman.

Greater Freeport Partnership Engagement Director Bill Clow believes that there are many reasons why people are choosing the Pretzel City to set up shop.

“You’re accessible to large metro areas but the cost of doing business is a little more affordable,” said Clow.

For Artman, it’s a dream come true. Now that he is doing what he loves, he has no plans to slow down.

“We have plans to keep expanding. There are more units here down the mall here that we plan to take over,” Artman added.

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