HOW SOME COMPANIES SURVIVE, EVEN THRIVE, IN VIRAL CRISIS
AppleMagazine|May 01, 2020
When the coronavirus struck the United States hard last month, 22-year-old entrepreneur David Zamarin knew his company needed a Plan B — fast. As the economy essentially shut down, demand for his stain-resistant coatings was sure to drop.

So Zamarin decided to retool his company, DetraPel, in Framingham, Massachusetts, to start making disinfectants to help fight the virus’s spread. Within weeks, “we completely changed our whole system.” Sales of the DetraPel ecoCleaner & Disinfectant have been strong, he said, and Zamarin expects to produce the cleaner even after the health crisis has passed.

“I don’t want this to be a one-time thing,” he said. “I don’t want to capitalize on this to make short term money.’’

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an epic catastrophe for American business. Economic life is all but frozen. Stores are idle. Sales have sunk as people isolate at home, slash spending on autos and appliances and halt shopping trips, restaurant meals and movie outings.

Many iconic retailers are reeling. Gap warns it may run out of cash. Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney could be headed for bankruptcy protection.

Yet by dint of circumstance, resourcefulness or just plain luck, some companies have positioned themselves to withstand, even thrive, in the crisis. The most fortunate work in sectors mostly shielded from damage, like pharmacies. Or they can capitalize on the quirks of the times — a spike in demand for groceries, pizza delivery, movie streaming, online packages and cleaning products.

Some companies were prudent enough to have built financial cushions or credit lines to access cash. And then there are nimble ones like DetraPel that somehow find opportunity in the chaos.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime — we hope — event,” said Andrew Corbett of Babson College’s Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship. “The people who are used to dealing with ambiguity and trying new things — they’re going to embrace this and run with it.’’

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM APPLEMAGAZINEView All

‘Buy Now, Pay Later' Catches on Just in Time for Holidays

As Americans shop for the holidays, they will likely see a swarm of offers to get their gifts now but pay for them later in fixed monthly installments.

6 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

Health The growing influence of Apple on healthcare

In a 2019 interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “If you zoomed out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’” After a short pause, he answered his own question: “It will be about health.” Two years on, his vision is already becoming a reality for the company.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

COLLINS DICTIONARY PICKS NFT AS WORD OF THE YEAR 2021

Collins Dictionary has chosen the term NFT as its word of the year after surging interest in the digital tokens that can sell for millions of dollars brought it into the mainstream.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

NEW TWITTER CEO STEPS FROM BEHIND THE SCENES TO HIGH PROFILE

Newly named Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has emerged from behind the scenes to take over one of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile and politically volatile jobs.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

COGNIZANT CEO DISCUSSES FIERCE BATTLE FOR TECHNOLOGY TALENT

Digital services have become more important than ever since the pandemic began in early 2020, and that’s meant big business for major technology companies.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

NISSAN INVESTING IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES, BATTERY DEVELOPMENT

Nissan said this week it is investing 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) over the next five years and developing a cheaper, more powerful battery to boost its electric vehicle lineup.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

MISSISSIPPI UNVEILS MOBILE ID PROGRAM: AN APP FOR PHONES

Mississippi is unveiling a new app that’s designed to store someone’s driver license on their phone.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

OUTDOOR DECORATING TRENDS: NATURAL, COZY, SUSTAINABLE

Home, as we know, has become more central to many of us during the pandemic, and that means outdoors as well as in. This holiday season, designers and retailers have suggestions for updating window, door and yard decorations.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

OMICRON UNRAVELS TRAVEL INDUSTRY'S PLANS FOR A COMEBACK

Tourism businesses that were just finding their footing after nearly two years of devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic are being rattled again as countries throw up new barriers to travel in an effort to contain the omicron variant.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021

SPACE JUNK FORCES SPACEWALK DELAY, TOO RISKY FOR ASTRONAUTS

NASA called off a spacewalk Tuesday because of menacing space junk that could puncture an astronaut’s suit or damage the International Space Station.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
December 03, 2021
RELATED STORIES

When Conservation Looks Like Evasion

The IRS is examining conservation easement deductions, putting promoters in its crosshairs

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
August 30, 2021

The Archives

Rewind

1 min read
Newsweek
August 20, 2021

Feeling, Sensitivity and Consciousnes

ROS PEARMAIN, Ph.D., has been integrating the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and spirituality, through both practical and philosophical approaches, for over 40 years. Here she explores the way a spiritual practice opens up the levels of feeling and sensitivity, as we expand into deeper and deeper levels of consciousness, and how our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies are integrated through the heart.

10 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
March 20201

Building the Future

What does it take to create change? Just ask these 17 founders, all age 27 or younger, who are doing it every day.

10+ mins read
Entrepreneur
September 2020

Purely Elizabeth

How entrepreneur Elizabeth Stein turned a batch of homemade muffins into a thriving and socially conscious food business.

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
August 2020

THE AMIABLE FLEAS

IN May 1954, more than fifteen years after writing Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck rented a house for himself and his family a stones-throw from the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

8 mins read
The Strand Magazine
Issue 58 - June-November

Libber's Last Stand

Mrs. America’s stylish history of the rise of the counter-counterculture.

6 mins read
New York magazine
April 27 - May 10, 2020

The Monkey's Paw

TORONTO IS ONE of the largest and most diverse cities in North America, a vibrant urban center whose culture constantly fluctuates alongside the many unique people who move through it.

3 mins read
World Literature Today
Winter 2020

Steinberg WaveLab Pro 11 £430

If 11 is one louder than 10, then WaveLab 11 must be one better than WaveLab 10. But, actually, it turns out that’s quite a lot better…

6 mins read
Computer Music
January 2022

BROKEN ARROW

Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner star in an action-packed spin-off as Marvel’s master marksman faces his demons…

4 mins read
TV & Satellite Week
November 20, 2021