Student Businesses in the Pandemic

Christopher Pimienta organizes his sneaker inventory into columns to post on Instagram for customers to see. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Pimienta.)

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the state of businesses around the world, but how have student-owned businesses been performing in the past 14 months?

UPA sophomore Adrian Pando became a sneaker reseller in August but has experienced a drop in sales since first starting.

“I would probably say the pandemic affects my business negatively because I feel like I would be selling faster without it,” Pando said.

A sneaker reseller like Pando, high schooler Christopher Pimienta began sneaker reselling in July and felt satisfied that he started his own business during quarantine. Pimienta, 15, is even financially independent of his parents.

“My business has helped me a lot financially,” Pimienta said. “The profit I’ve made from my business is roughly $20,000 in total.”

Roselyn Santacruz, a freshman at Gunderson High School who sells sweets like cheesecake bites, chocolate strawberries and cookies, also found that starting her own dessert business allowed her to develop real-world skills.

Roselyn Santacruz’s most popular dessert is the churro cheesecake, a cheesecake topped with strawberries and sweetened condensed milk drizzle. (Photo courtesy of Roselyn Santacruz.)

“It definitely helped me mature more,” Santacruz said. “I always knew it was hard to make your own money, but with having my small business, it’s getting me ready for the real world.”

According to, nearly 100,000 businesses closed due to the pandemic, but for Santacruz, it is a different story.

“I wouldn’t have started my business without COVID-19,” Santacruz said. “With the pandemic, I feel like more people are starting to buy from small businesses, so it kind of helps my business.”

In Pimienta’s experience, the pandemic’s effects on sneaker reselling businesses have been two-sided. Pimienta could no longer go to sneaker stores to purchase the newest sneaker releases, but the pandemic brought new customers to the reselling community.

“Covid has also helped out a lot because of that extra free time I can use to expand my business,” Pimienta said.