Small Business Owners Say the Bailout Saved Big Chains and Let Them Perish


John and Courtney Sellers didn’t think they would become coffee shop owners when they bought a century-old building in the picturesque downtown of Martin, their town of about 11,000, in West Tennessee. They originally wanted a storefront for their marketing and branding business, and they had fallen in love with the structure’s elegant blue exterior. Then they began thinking of ways to raise money to fund literacy efforts in Nepal, where John used to live, and settled on selling coffee, with a portion of the proceeds going toward charity. But Martin’s Coffee and Bakery took off after opening in 2017, and “took over our lives,” John said. They soon had a successful business with 16 employees; in its first year, the coffeehouse raised enough money for the Sellers’ nonprofit to build a library in Nepal.

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