The shutdown due to COVID-19 was not bad news for everyone.
Philip Hurst, of Ocala, spent most of his work career in sales and restaurant management.
In March, when the pandemic hit, he was left with no income and he had no idea what he and his family were going to do.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself and relying on unemployment, Philip began brainstorming, and with the help of his son who attends Trinity Catholic, came up with an idea.
Stepping outside his comfort zone, the father and son duo began using the family pickup truck to haul away unwanted items for people in the area. However, Philip had no idea what was in store for his family.
What was supposed to be a temporary side job, quickly snowballed into a small business now known as Southern Boys Haul-Away.
In less than eight months, the small business quickly grew from using one small pickup truck and having a few customers, to needing to purchase a used trailer and having a steady clientele.
“The love and referrals that we are getting from the community make every drop of sweat, every tear, every cut, bruise, bump, all worth it,” Philip said. He went on to say, “We might not have the fanciest equipment, but we have a genuine love for making customers happy.”
Philip said the new business venture has allowed him to meet new people. Additionally, since his company does haul-aways outside Marion County, he has also been able to travel to places he has never seen.
Philip said he knows that a lot of people are not as fortunate as he has been. He said he and his family are grateful and extremely humbled that people in the community have given his business a chance and hopes his business will continue to grow.
“We love our customers and know they are the reason we are where we are,” Philip said.