BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone’s lives, including small businesses owners.

Many have had to shut their doors due to this pandemic. But now, a group of volunteer crisis navigators from Loyola University are lending a helping hand.

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On the brink of letting go of her business, Sarah Wehners’ acupuncture shop has been closed for eight weeks.


“It was extremely overwhelming,” she said.

That was until a crisis navigator came along.

“To have someone that was on the same page who understands what it felt like was really nice,” Wehners said.

Baltimore City is home to 12,000 small businesses.

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“A lot of us just need assurance that it’s just gonna be okay,” Wendy Bolger, creator of Crisis Navigators at Loyola University, said.

It’s why Bolger created a free program of crisis navigators.

“We have people who can just help you walk through what your next steps are,” Bolger said.

The program is helping dozens of owners like Wehners envision a future.

“It’s been not only an adjustment to close, but it’s starting to become an adjustment to anticipate what reopening will look like,” Wehners said.

If you’re a small business owner in need of your own navigator, click right here for more information. 

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Annie Rose Ramos