Hollywood’s Small Businesses in Crisis as COVID-19 Close Everything


Day-to-day business is a pivotal aspect of the economy. For the past four months, this has changed because of the Coronavirus disease. Small businesses are not yielding the same amount of revenue they used to get. Several companies have closed down as employees are lockdown in their homes because of the outbreak.

For instance, Hollywood’s small businesses experience a hard situation, as almost everything is shutting down. Hollywood is well known for its large studios with thousands of employees as well as large sound stages. According to statistics, the movie giant has at least five thousand, nine hundred working businesses. 99.5% have not more than 500 workers, and over 90% have less than ten employees.

Hollywood faces severe hardships.

The population represents everything used in making movies, commercials as well as TV shows. It includes customers, caterers, trailer rental companies, film editors, sound mixing specialists, and prop rentals. Following the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, entertainment production sees an extensive halt. Now, many companies observe their revenues decline to zero in the past month. As a result, many workers end up jobless, or employees are sent home on unpaid leave.

An excellent example is Star Waggons Company, well known to build and rent rooms to trailer stars and crew. Besides, it also hosts everything starting from films and concerts to commercials and TV shoots. As per the survey, the company employed around one hundred employees. Star Waggons used to generate $20 million in a year. Statistics show that this year is very different due to the pandemic hit.

As a result of sets shutting down, CEO Jason Waggoner had to furlough several employees because of end month zero revenue. However, Jason secured a small business loan via the Paycheck Protection Program. He says the mortgage is a big step for his company and employees as it will help them achieve their goals. Additionally, Waggoner says they had a strong balance sheet to enable the company to make it to the other side of the current situation.

Optimistic despite the current situation

Waggoner is also concerned about his employees, including the furloughed ones. Jason says that the company will try its best to bring some back, although it is not guaranteed. He is not sure whether it will be May, June, or September as there is a wide range of ideas. Waggoner also says that they are doing great to ensure employees are ready for more social distancing when production resumes.

Jason shows how the company and its employees are optimistic once production comes back. He hopes everyone will be very busy when production resumes. Nevertheless, Waggoner says most of the small businesses in Hollywood are yet to receive the safety net of PPP loan. He also adds that mom and pop shops (competent freelancers) with no employees but themselves, do not qualify for the PPP loan.


Other companies like Camille Catering, which serves crews, commonly on independent film productions, cannot get Small Business Association loans. Judy Napolitano, the co-founder of the company, says PPP did not consider all people. She says many individual workers are not qualified for the loans.

Now, Napolitano and her daughter are waiting for production to kick off again. Furthermore, she also hopes the independent film they were working on will get rescheduled as soon as possible.



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