No doubt about it, we all just went through some sh#&t. As covid19 spread from China through Europe and into the US, we really never saw it coming our way and affecting our daily lives the way it did for the last two months. Stay at home orders, social distancing, mandatory face masks, and frequent handwashing (ya’ll should have been doing this part all along, but do you boo). The fact of the matter is that our local Small Business community got hit the hardest, with forced temporary shutdowns, and little to no relief support.
While there is no way of telling the future – we can rely on historical data for insights – I personally feel that it’s so important that we are all aware of the very scary reality our small business community is currently facing. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses do not reopen following a disaster. Furthermore, another 25% fail within one year. As if that wasn’t enough, The United States Small Business Administration found that over 90% of companies fail within two years of being struck by a disaster.
So how can we save our small business community (because our government sure isn’t)? Here are three ways we can all stand-by our favorite local mom/pop shops:
As we all continue to adapt to a new reality, the best way that we can keep ourselves safe and support small businesses is to consciously shop local (online or over the phone) when possible.
Support the Workers
Many retail and restaurant employees live paycheck to paycheck, and many did not qualify for the relief programs provided by the government. One week of no work can create a major financial burden on these employees and their families. Best way to support is to tip more whenever possible &/or contribute to organizations dedicated to helping the employees who did not qualify for aid.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance urges us to hold our government officials accountable. Congress, state legislatures, and city and county councils are all exploring programs and policies to keep small businesses afloat. The greatest need that local, independently owned businesses have right now is cash flow. Ask your local, state, and federal legislators to act quickly to provide relief to small businesses.