Covid-19 has forced the majority of the world into quarantine at some point or another. With people at home, many businesses were forced to close temporarily in an effort to limit social contact. These closures have meant a loss of income for those businesses and these places are struggling to pay bills like rents and power and many are unable to pay their employees. Luckily for some, many cities across the world have re-opened public places, allowing business to recover to a certain degree.
As businesses slowly begin to open, it’s important to support them if we can so that they can get back on their feet. Big companies will survive, but small ones might not if we don’t support them. Unfortunately, some small businesses have been forced to close permanently; but some are still hanging in there. Let’s help the ones still left so they don’t go under.
Covid-19 hit hard as governments enacted quarentines and stay at home orders. Businesses were the first to feel the impact of the pandemic. Studies contend that effects of Covid began impacting small business quickly, beginning only a few weeks into its arrival in the US and well before the first economic stimulus was given out. (1) Businesses that were less able to be run remotely saw the biggest impact. (1)
Look in your neighborhood or city/town to find a small business. You can find them online, too. Another way to find them is to take a walk in the downtown area of your city; this area is usually teeming with shops & places that will need the support of locals. So here are a few ideas for supporting local business & helping them get back on their feet.
- Pick one or two and post about them on social media. This helps them get some exposure & it might inspire someone else to help, too.
- Buy products or services from one if you’re in a financial position to do so. This means getting take out from a small resteraunt instead of a national chain eatery. Buy a piece of clothing from a local boutique, order something online from a local seller, get a gift card to use later from a local business, have your computer fixed at a local electronics store, buy some food from an ethnic food market, get gifts from a small shop, buy at a local small bookstore, choose a local pet or child sitter, etc. Basically, choose to frequent a local small business whenever possible. And if you can do it online or over the phone, even better!
- Ask a small business if they need (or can have) volunteers right now (2). Many businesses were forced to lay employees off because they couldn’t pay them when sales plummeted, so your free help could give them a little relief.
- Donate money to a local business. (2) Even small amounts help. Then ask your friends and family to donate. You can even request donations for a small business as a birthday or holiday gift.
- Join and promote the ‘Thank You Small Business’ movement. (3)
- As businesses reopen slowly or with limitations support them as they do. Pick two, three, or even four to visit online or in person. If they have online service encourage your friends to visit their websites, too.
If we all work together to give a little towards local businesses we can help keep these places afloat.
(1) “The Impact of Covid-19 on Small Business Outcomes And Expectations” Bartick, Bertrand, Cullen, Glaeser, Luca, Stanton; Department of Economics at University of Illinois Urbana-Champange
(2) “17 Ways to Help Small Businesses Impacted by Covid-19” via: ‘search engine journal.com’
(3) “How you can help Small businesses during Covid-19” Via: ‘the points guy.com’