Even during COVID, small businesses are looking to expand to permanent locations.

Food truck owners have an easier time heading to a brick-and-mortar, thanks to their existing fan base. Their ability to travel to meet customers allows the creation of loyal followers.  

Savannah Wilburn, the public relations officer for the South Carolina district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said that things were already tough before the pandemic started, but now small businesses are dealing with more difficulties.  

“Only one in four do not succeed in their startup. So even during this time, I would say that’s even more,” Wilburn says. Their lack of early support can cause the business to fail. 

Brittany Koester is a food truck owner moving to a brick-and-mortar store sometime in the next month. She is confident in her ability to handle a permanent location due to the number of customers and events she already serves. Her business, 72 Company, will be changing to Azalea Coffee Bar.  

“I think if you can make it work on the go, and you know with a ton of people. Like I said, we just served 100 people today really quickly. Then you can handle a brick-and-mortar shop,” Koester says.  

Despite the pandemic concerns, people are continuing to shop small and head back inside stores, according to Wilburn. 

What started as a food truck is now heading to a permanent shop. 

Koester says the shop will be opening within the next month on Devine Street.