As co-owner of Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers, Karla Mazza leads by example.

"My role as business owner, I really try to focus on culture and what that means for our staff,” said Mazza. “I think having a place to go where you know that your employer cares about you and you know that there is a work life balance there, is really important.”

Since 2019, Mazza and her 28 staff members have provided both traditional and specialized physical therapy services to members of our community.

However, the past two years have been filled with challenges.

"The pandemic was scary for us as well as it was for everybody,” said Mazza. “Going in the very early stages, it was how do we take care of our patients, how do we take care of our staff, and how do we take care of our business.”

Co-owner Christopher Bailey agrees.

"There were a lot of regulation changes, a lot of staffing changes, difficulty getting people back to work, people who were sick,” said Bailey. “It adds another level to the business owner's difficulties."

Despite those difficulties, both Mazza and Bailey were able to persevere and overcome those pandemic obstacles.

"We're hopeful that we're kind of towards the end of it now,” said Mazza. “We're thinking 2022 might be a way for us to put that behind us."

The center is now thriving, with Mazza and Bailey set to open their third location in Harborcreek.

"We had folks traveling from the east side to come to Erie, and some even going to Corry for treatment,” said Bailey. “We knew there was a need for that in Harborcreek, so we're really excited to bring that to the Harborcreek market."

Mazza says they hope to open the new location in the next couple of weeks.

This story is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.