SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - At a time when things are really challenging for local businesses, a trio of Simi Valley teens have decided to try and make a difference.
“We really wanted to help out the community because of the coronavirus," says Deive Mece.
He and good friends Evan Robert and Yash Rondla are all 17.
They all are seniors at Royal High School. All have been stuck at home and looking for something cool to do. They took their marginal knowledge of building websites… used quarantine to excel in coding... and decided to help small businesses by making free websites for them to help with their e-commerce.
Yash says, “We noticed a lot of small businesses are struggling around our community so we wanted to do something to help them.”
It is true. The pandemic has dealt a tough blow to many local businesses here. Just ask Denise Balogh at Firehouse Cafe. She says they’ve been suffering. She claims business has "been down about 50%."
To Claude Balikcian at Choice Cleaners it's been a struggle At first business was down 90% according to Balikcian "It has gone up a little bit," he says. But adds, “We’re just barely keeping it afloat."
And, that’s exactly why Deivi, Evan and Yash thought they might be onto something.
They helped Steve Carnes with his personal fitness training business. He likes the site the teens made. Says Carnes, “It’s very well done. I’m sure it will give me some extra business. No doubt in my mind.” But to Rondla there is a certain sadness to all of this. He says, “It’ very disappointing cause it's our senior year; can’t really have the same experiences as other people.”
So, in a classic case of finding a silver lining, the three - whose lives have all changed - have landed on something meaningful.
Evan Robert says, “In this age we have to worry about every time we go outside, wearing a mask, disinfecting our hands, staying away from others… its a really a harsh reality.”
For small businesses that would like a free website, check out venturawebsitebuilders.weebly.com.