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Colorado Springs startup businesses discuss struggles they’ve faced with COVID-19


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- COVID-19 has impacted every business at different levels, but for companies that are just getting their businesses up and running, it's been particularly hard.

"COVID hit and there was no face to face and so our revenue and our business shut down for two months with no money coming in," says Lawrence Wagner, the CEO, and founder for Spark Mindset. His startup prepares high school and middle school students for cybersecurity careers.

With schools playing a big role in his business model, uncertainty has left him on edge. Wagner says, "Schools who are still trying to figure out what they are trying to do and then you have parents who are waiting on schools."

Jacob Montoya found himself in a similar situation. He's the founder of FitSW, a company that provides software to gyms and personal trainers. "Right away, as soon as it hit, all the gyms closing, personal trainers; some of them losing their jobs," Montoya says.

Struggling to make ends meet, both turned to the Paycheck Protection Program for help. As Montoya explains, it didn't amount to much given the size of his small startup. "The PPP wasn't a big help for us just because, we didn't have many hires last year," Montoya says.

Wagner on the other hand didn't get anything. Saying his business didn't even qualify for PPP. "These programs that were created are not really for startups, and more for small businesses and restaurants and things like that," Wagner says, "So we didn't have a lot of access to capital."

Both business leaders are trying to be optimistic about the future. Saying things are starting to get a little better, they just hope that if there is more federal stimulus down the road, businesses like theirs won't be forgotten.

Business / Colorado Springs / Coronavirus / Local News

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.



  1. Though I hate to see any business suffer through an unforeseen circumstance, it appears to me they were undercapitalized as a startup if they are struggling so much in just a few months.

  2. There is always risk in owning a business. Unfortunately the COVID did a lot of damage to the business/economic world. It is all new territory we all have to figure out how to adapt to. So adapt and keep going on. Even if that means tabling your business for awhile until a clear market is established for it again. I feel bad for gym people because that whole industry is upside down and who knows how it will end up.

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