Quarantine inspires creative new local businesses, from fish to art to cleanup

The 2019 coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the economy. Many South Floridians have had to find new ways of supporting themselves.

Three Miami locals are just a few of the thousands who have started their own businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. They sell fresh-caught fish, COVID-19 supplies and their own artwork. Andres Astudillo, Roger Peraza and Gabriela Barrantes have taken advantage of their free time to succeed amidst the economic turmoil. 

Astudillo is the owner of “Freshly Fished.” He started this company with a friend after they both lost their jobs and realized how much extra time they had. They got the idea one day when they returned from spearfishing and noticed how much they had caught. Andres and his friends started selling it to their friends and family for some extra cash. They question whether they will continue when the pandemic is done.

Peraza is the owner of “Roger’s Essential Supplies,” a store dedicated to selling protective equipment such as hand sanitizer, face masks, face shields, gloves, disinfecting spray and more. Roger started this business to provide for his family after losing his job. Even though his business has had much success, Roger states that this isn’t something he plans to do for long, After the pandemic, he hopes to return to his old job.

Barrantes is the creator of “afreckledroseco”  an online website where she sells her art for commission. Before the pandemic, she made art for herself but during quarantine, she decided to take advantage of the time to focus on her artistic talent. For now it is a way to make extra money but in time, she hopes to make it into a career.

Stories like these show how resilient our community is in a time of hardship and how people have taken advantage of their free time during the lockdown to showcase their talent and productivity. 

Amanda was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has been living in Miami since she was 2 years old. Amanda is pursuing a bachelors in Broadcast Media with an Area of Concentration in Women and Gender Studies. Her dream is to be a news anchor.