SMB Voices: Kate Haus Photography

Kate is a lifestyle, portrait, editorial and commercial photographer in Santa Monica, CA: Check out our top small business this week
Street photographer takes photo of woman standing against wall

There is no doubt that 2020 was a very difficult year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Many businesses have been struggling through the series of lockdowns across the country. Restaurants, boutiques, specialty shops, tech start-ups, and other SMBs are looking for new ways to engage and retain customers, select legitimate suppliers in a virtual world, and manage their cashflows. Through it all, some SMBs have managed to re-invent themselves and are thriving. What is the secret to their success?

Kate Haus Photography

Kate is a lifestyle, portrait, editorial and commercial photographer in Santa Monica, CA. For over 10 years, she has worked with local residents, publications, politicians, and celebrities alike. Her work has been featured in Forbes, People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, the American Red Cross, and the Today Show, among others. Markaaz has been working with Kate as our company photographer for months.

What are your top challenges? 

Since part of my business supports social media influencers, my work flourished for a short time during the early part of the lockdown. However, I was not immune to the financial impacts of 2020. I have felt the impact certainly, and it is a trickle-down effect. As corporations were affected and began tightening their belts, my services were among the first to be eliminated. I received a PPP loan, which helped a lot, and I also got a Small Business Administration loan. This government assistance was critical to the survival of my business. 

Could you describe your secret to success during these times? 

Throughout this experience, I have managed to remain positive. I credit my survival to my ability to pivot. During my downtime, I performed the operations tasks that I had postponed, updated my portfolio, and reflected on what more I could do to expand my business. While surviving is the main focus at this time, I’m remaining confident that things will pick up soon. I have faith that it’s all going to be fine. In the meantime, I’m living small, expanding my scope of work, and waiting for the day when restrictions can be lifted and life finally finds its new normal.

What recourse has been the most helpful to you? 

“As the sole proprietor and employee of my business, I benefitted more from Unemployment Insurance than additional bank loans. I applied for another PPP loan, but I declined it because I would get more assistance on unemployment – I am a one-person operation, so it made more sense.”

How do you envision Markaaz helping you and your business? 

What I would love is a simple and efficient process of determining eligibility for loans and step-by-step procedures for completing the application process – a tool for achieving success.

For example, there was so much fraud with the Unemployment Insurance system that the State had to shut down millions of accounts to reverify. I was one of the accounts that were shut down for re-verification, and it took me weeks to finally get through for assistance. If I had been verified by Markaaz, this issue would have never occurred. For this reason, I envision Markaaz being of tremendous help for many different use cases alike!

Visit for a collection of portrait, lifestyle, and commercial photography!

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