Two Interviews with Local Businesses and An Article by Isabella Kanczuk, Student Intern

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Peter Win: Brookline Booksmith

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter Win, from Brookline Booksmith, has
been able to sell books online and provide his customers with their favorite reads from
home. The biggest lesson Peter Win has learnt from COVID-19 is that both adaptability and
flexibility are crucial in life, especially in business. Nobody never knows what is going to
happen in the future, but the best that anyone can do is prepare to adjust to anything!

Peter Win has been working at Brookline Booksmith since 2012. Currently, the
tight-knit, collaborative business is located on 279 Harvard Street and offers everyone
books of multiple genres, topics, etc. that often change the lives of the customers who read
them. But, most importantly, all employees and employers of the business share a pure love
for reading that anyone can undeniably feel while stepping through the store.
To support Brookline Booksmith right now, consider dropping by and buying a book
to read on your way home!


Nur Kilic: Serenade Chocolatier

The biggest lesson Nur Kilic has learnt from COVID-19 is that working hard is truly
important in life, especially in times of crisis. She has also learnt that adapting is crucial,
and she definitely showcased this trait during the pandemic when she gave more attention
to her online store than ever before.

Nur Kilic has been working at Serenade Chocolatier since 1987. Nowadays,
Serenade Chocolatier makes over 60 types of chocolates, all with great passion and love,
1many dairy free, vegan, and from excotic fruits. It is located in 5 Harvard Square and full of
an exquisite chocolate aroma that is spread all throughout the store.

To support Serenade Chocolatier right now, consider buying their chocolate on their
online website today!

Article: 2008 Recession Vs. COVID-19 Recession

In 2008, the recession began with the disruption to the US real estate and financial
markets and only spread to the financial and real estate economy in the rest of the world
after a certain time delay, whereas the COVID-19 recession was more of an immediate
consequence of an abrupt global health crisis. Nevertheless, indepent from their causes,
both the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 recession not only have many similarities, but
have both completely changed the lives of many, especially of small business owners.

According to Peter Win, from Brookline Booksmith, the biggest positive to his
business that came out of the COVID-19 health crisis was the fact that his online store, for
the bookstore, expanded significantly. Given that, due to health/ safety guidelines,
customers were not allowed to enter the store, at least during the first 6 weeks of the
pandemic, customers ordered everything from home. As a result, Brookline Booksmith’s
online ordering increased significantly. In fact, online ordering, in hindsight, is a more
efficient method of selling/buying than in-person shopping, according to him.

According to Nur Kilic, from Serenade Chocolatier, the biggest negative that came
out of the COVID-19 pandemic was the fact that all of her business offices got closed and are
still not recovered, today. Additionally, according to her, although the COVID-19 recession
was much more sudden than the 2008 recession, it more negatively affected her business
2since chocolate is a very recession-proof product. Thus, in 2008, although loyal customers
certainly bought less chocolate than previously, they still helped the store survive through
their buying. In 2020, in contrast, loyal customers simply were not able to buy any
chocolates, at least at first, since they could not enter the store due to health/ safety
guidelines.

Furthermore, another difference between the 2008 recession and the COVID-19
recession is that government lending programs PPE (paycheck protection program) were
much more flexible and generous during the latter recession, truly helping small businesses
owners in, for instance, Brookline.

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