But as summer wound down, Rozeboom exhausted his grant money and lost all hope that normalcy would return with fall. He had seen the coronavirus spread around him, watching neighboring office buildings, once flush with loyal customers, remain vacant.
With little left to do but wait for Congress to pass another round of legislation that would help small businesses, Rozeboom made deep personal sacrifices to keep his business afloat. He recently decided not to renew the lease on his house in Northern Virginia that would have allowed his five children to enroll in the public high school of his choice.
“The reality that this will not just be over the summer is really hitting us,” he said. “Our whole family has to sacrifice now.”
Like Rozeboom, small-business owners across the District were buoyed for months by an influx of funding from federal and local government programs and propelled by hope