Businesses all over the world have been affected by Covid-19, and nowhere has the damage been more difficult to deal with than in the small business community. As a result of the economic shutdown and public uneasiness about shopping, many small businesses are doubtful that they'll be able to return to their former glory after the dust settles - if they return at all. The good news is, keeping hope alive can come from us all.
Small businesses’ are the backbone of American Industry. They embody the dreams and entrepreneurial spirit that this country was built on. We all have a favorite mom and pop shop that has become a staple in our community and would be missed if it permanently closed. So instead of hitting the chain stores, make a list of the local small businesses you can support.
They provide us with a place where everyone can gather and enjoy a level of service that is unparalleled compared to the big-box stores. While everything is different in 2020, we can still take comfort in supporting our favorite small businesses, even if it’s not what we’re used to. Remember: because they’re a part of our communities, above all they care about their customers and stand behind the quality of their products.
Small But Mighty
Small business owners are some of brightest, grittiest, and innovative people in the world. Most importantly, they are resilient and trying to make their businesses thrive in the face of adversity. With mandates in certain states only allowing for outside dining, for example, restaurant owners are adapting to accommodate their customers by adding outdoor seating, raising outdoor tents, lighting patio heaters - all the while abiding by social distancing procedures. They’ve also either added or expanded delivery and even curbside pickup. Even so, some of the strongest business owners are struggling to survive, especially with the winter months ahead.
Supporting them through dining isn’t the only way to help, however. Another way could be donating things that they’ll need to be better prepared for colder temps. A supportive gesture of donating a chair cover, for instance, is perfect for ensuring that their outside furniture bests the elements.
A simple greeting card, an email, a social media like, or a glowing customer review all can lift the business owners’ and employees’ spirits. Now more than ever, we can keep them hopeful and inspire them to remain part of your community.
A Helping Hand
Ecommerce isn’t reserved for only the big-box retailers; many small businesses offer online shopping too. So, supporting your favorites is merely a click away. You can change up your dinner routine by ordering takeout from your local favorite. Ordering craft kits for the kids, treating yourself with stress relief products, or joining a new online class are all great ways to support the businesses in your neighborhood.
Services From A Distance
Many have adapted their business to help keep you happy at home with their services and subscriptions being offered online. Small gyms are offering personal trainers via Zoom and other video conferencing solutions. Salons are making touch-ups easy at home with custom kits available for online purchase. With the traditional business models changing so rapidly, it’s best practice to check their websites and reach out to see where you can help.
Gift Cards and Giving Back
A gift card is a way to promise them your future business. And with the holidays around the corner, these make great stocking stuffers as well. For more rugged climates, if you notice snow building up on their outside furniture, gift your community small business sectional covers so they have one less thing to worry about.
Gofundme pages, fundraisers, and even Virtual 5K events have sprung up all over the country to help our neighborhood small businesses stay afloat. It’s never been easier to get involved in your community and most events don’t require you to leave your home. If that’s not your speed you can donate your skills and services with pro-bono work.
Outdoor Game Day
Consider moving the TV outside and having a social distanced get-together with friends in your backyard oasis. Have it catered by the local cafe or bbq joint to spread some neighborly love. Order a croquet set from the local game shop for pre-game competition. And when the game is over, send guests home with gift bags from local stores before putting the sectional covers back on and putting the television back in its usual living room resting place.