Podcasters travel through 16 states during pandemic highlighting small businesses


(NewsNation Now) — Coronavirus is causing a lot of businesses to get creative and for a pair of podcasters the pandemic gave them an opportunity to hit the road to learn more about how small businesses are surviving and bringing a smile along the way.

Lulu Picart and Alison Burns have been podcasting together for two years. And what better way to test a friendship than a 16 state trip logging more than 9,000 miles across the U.S. during a pandemic.

“We had planned in 2020 to do a tour anyway, and then everything got canceled,” said Burns. “We set up a dashcam and we filmed everything.”

They are calling the trip — “Live from Blank” — digital episodes will be released on YouTube starting next month but this was more than a joy ride, these miles had a mission.

“We wanted to highlight all of the different places that were doing it right, they were still trying to make it work, their small businesses,” said Burns.

“They have found a way to reimagine what they do and found a way to commit to that so that they could move forward,” Picart added.

They were in a different city every couple days and as the camera kept rolling so did the safety precautions. Picart called herself the COVID-19 compliance officer.

“Every time it was a decision. Every single time we pulled into a place we did a check in, how many people are outside, how many people are inside, do we feel safe, let’s go,” she explained.

“Someone came up to us in Sedona and asked us for a free hug, and I was like you are so friendly. And I love your mindset and your philosophy of life and I cannot hug you stranger right now but I wish you the best,” said Picart.

Two women on the road — taking on a pandemic with a podcast — looking for laughter and inspiration with every mile.

“It was really good for my soul to be able to see the world but also it put into perspective that sometimes we feel really isolated and alone during this pandemic,” Burns said.

Click here for some of Picart and Burns’ podcasts, and click here for Live From Blank.

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