We’ve all read about the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the stories are often grim, with countless local businesses going under and many Americans out of work (though the unemployment rate has improved recently).

So it’s a great time to start your own business, right?

That statement isn’t quite as crazy as you might think. In fact, applications to start a new business in the U.S. are rising at the fastest rate since 2007. Here’s an interesting passage from that article that speaks to what’s happening:

The pandemic itself is the likely accelerating factor, given that unemployment rates are still near 8%. Many of these folks are forgoing the job search in favor of striking out on their own and pursuing their passions, with 27% of "pandemic founders" indicating that they were previously laid off from their full-time jobs, according to a recent survey by JustBusiness. 

The old adage that “necessity is the mother of invention” rings true here. In a challenging economic environment, many people are finding that the best path forward is to blaze a trail of their own.

Of course, not everyone starting a business these days is in this same situation — the other 73 percent of “pandemic founders” were not recently laid off. But 100 percent of these entrepreneurs share something in common, and that’s the fact that they saw the current moment as the right time for their ideas.

The article below from Forbes nicely captures the story of a California couple that opened a bookstore in their community last month. Their launch has been a success so far, and while social distancing rules limit how many customers can be in the store at once, the owners said that “many commented that they are reading much more right now and are excited to have an independent bookshop to visit.”

The pandemic is actually creating a market for this business because more people are staying home and reading. That’s a lesson we can all learn from, and it will apply long after COVID-19 is gone. When the next big challenge arises, where can you find opportunity for a good idea?