What Are the Chances?

LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WMBF) - Businesses all over the world have had to adapt in unprecedented ways because of the way the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday lives.

A business owner in Little River, however, said her family has actually been here before.

Donna Brin is the CEO of bFive40, a newer business that up until the pandemic focused on large-format printing. The company made everything from signs for business conventions to even jerseys for kids’ sports teams.

When rising coronavirus cases put everything on pause, Brin said at first she was worried. Then, she thought of her great-grandmother who was in a similar situation when the 1918 Spanish Flu hit much of the world.

Her great-grandmother at the time had a company that sewed dresses for Lord and Taylor in New York. As the Spanish Flu worsened, the business adapted to make hospital gowns during the pandemic over 100 years ago.

Fast forward to 2020 and Brin’s company is now making masks and face coverings. She said Friday felt special not just because South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette visited, but because of the bond her business shares with her great-grandmother.

“What are the chances? That 103 years later, four generations, that I would be seeing something so strikingly similar with my own business. When COVID-19 came to be we saw a lot of our business go on hold. So we pivoted,” Brin said.

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