No photo taken and names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individual. 

Tanya’s Story

As a small business owner, Tanya overcomes COVID-19 business interruption.

My name is Tanya and I’m a 68-year-old entrepreneur. I launched a part-time senior transportation service after I retired to help my friends and neighbors. My customers relied on me to get around and I relied on the extra income to make ends meet. When the pandemic struck, everything changed. Older adults were cautioned to stay at home, and my business immediately dwindled. I still had a few customers, but not enough to pay my own bills. I decided to call United Way’s PA 2-1-1 Southwest. I told the Resource Navigator that my utility bills were the biggest concern. I also had a past-due veterinary bill and was worried that my account would be sent to collections. The Resource Navigator gave me several referrals for utility payment assistance and suggested that I could find other helpful services through the Area Agency on Aging. He also escalated my case to a 2-1-1 supervisor for referral to United Way’s Emergency Basic Needs COVID Relief Fund. My anxiety lifted when a partner agency made a substantial payment on my gas bill and I was able to make payment arrangements on my remaining debt—all possible to manage within my current monthly income. I’m grateful for United Way’s 2-1-1. This support has enabled me to take care of my own health. Now I can stay home and stay safe without the financial stress that was hanging over my head. And I look forward to starting up my business again when things get back to normal.