A counterintuitive silver lining to the pandemic is developing: While droves of small businesses across the United States have been crushed by Covid-19 and its restrictions, others have been pushed to lift off.

There has been a surge in new business start-ups this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By the week ending Dec. 5, the bureau reported, business applications were up 43.3 percent over the same period in 2019. “But it remains unclear how much of the increase is attributable to entrepreneurs finding opportunity in the crisis to form businesses likely to hire employees as opposed to newly unemployed individuals starting their own businesses,” according to the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan public policy organization.

This uptick, however, is offset by the fact that about 28.8 percent of small businesses were closed for good as of mid-November, compared with the start of the year, based on data tracked by Opportunity Insights, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research organization based at Harvard University.

In New York City, an estimated one-third of small businesses might never reopen, according to a study by the nonprofit Partnership for New York City.

“The truth is, no one knows what’s next because no one has seen anything like the current intersection of crises,” said Nathalie Molina Niño, author of “Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs” and chief executive of O³, a privately held start-up investment firm.

“Entrepreneurs are delusionally optimistic, by design,” she said. “Which is why even amidst what some days looks like a mass burial ground for small businesses across the country, with storefronts shuddered from coast to coast, entrepreneurs are still starting and, in some cases, growing their businesses.”

That’s what Eric Levitan plans to do. In April, after 25 years of working in technology and running software companies, Mr. Levitan, 49, started the Atlanta-based Vivo, a virtual small-group strength-training fitness program for adults 55 and older and conducted live with a certified instructor. The classes, led over Zoom, were inspired by watching his own parents, who are in their 70s, struggle with aging and mobility issues.

It was a business that he had been developing for over a year, but the pandemic threw his original concept — in-person strength training classes in senior living communities — out the door. “Because of Covid, we shifted the model to move the classes online,” he said.

For Mr. Levitan, the pivot to an online fitness service considerably increased his potential client base. “Now there’s no geographical boundary around it — we can train someone in Brazil, California, Japan and have trainers anywhere in the world.”

“I started having my friends try them, and they were saying: ‘You need to do something with these. You need to sell them,’” Mr. Mammone said. “Once that idea set in, I thought, all right, I’m going to start a pickle company.”

But it was a back-burner idea. “The pandemic is actually what sparked the business back up,” he said. Mr. Bardakos offered to help and a partnership was born. “This is something we can do right now, and we can be in control of,” Mr. Mammone said, “and it is not going to cost us a lot of money.”

“Navigating uncertainty during this pandemic and the associated political and economic landscape is the biggest challenge for any entrepreneur,” said Sanyin Siang, executive director of the Fuqua/Coach K Leadership and Ethics Center at Duke University and author of “The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business or Next Career.”

“It has been a little bit of a struggle, but we’re surviving,” he said. “I knew what I was getting into, and that there were going to be several challenges ahead to adhere to the ever-changing safety guidelines.”

The biggest challenge: “We’re at such a small capacity — 40 diners at a time,” he said. “The dining room has a full capacity of 140.”

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