Merchandising/Marketing/Retailing: Management

Impact of COVID-19 on Micro Fashion Enterprises in West Virginia

  • Ishtehar Sharif Swazan orcid logo (West Virginia University)
  • Debanjan Das orcid logo (University of Missouri)


Microenterprise is mainly a subset of the small business sector, with five or fewer employees. Microenterprises constitute 88% of approximately 28 million United States businesses and play an increasingly important role in economic development throughout the country. Being a rural Appalachian region, West Virginia’s economy has been weaker over the past decade or so compared to the whole nation. Among all the businesses in West Virginia, 98.9% are small and microenterprises. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive damage among all the micro businesses in West Virginia. Therefore, this study aims to explore the impact Covid-19 had on the fashion microenterprises in West Virginia. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were employed for this study. The study results revealed several impacts of this pandemic on microenterprises: a) store closure; b) decline in employment; c) losing competitiveness against the large retail stores; d) change in consumer buying pattern and e) forced to use online sales channels.

Keywords: Micro Enterprise, Pandemic, Fashion, West Virginia

How to Cite:

Swazan, I. & Das, D., (2022) “Impact of COVID-19 on Micro Fashion Enterprises in West Virginia”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 78(1). doi:



Published on
23 Sep 2022
Peer Reviewed