Life in the United States in 2021 seems more normal than the year before. The arrival of vaccines means the relaxing of rules for restaurant goers and sports enthusiasts. Even the impact of the delta variant is much less on the U.S. economy than in 2020 when shutdowns forced small businesses to close temporarily or permanently. Yet during the peak of the 2020 pandemic, a few people opened businesses, including these in California, and persevered through the odds.

Camera: Michelle Quinn, Roy Kim
Contributor: Mike O’Sullivan