Months after closing their doors due to COVID-19 many small businesses are finally starting to reopen. Many consumers and employees have waited for this moment.
While some small businesses were closed for good; many have been saved thanks to both public and private initiatives which provided financial assistance to them while they waited to be able to get back to business.
As of mid-May 100,000 small businesses across the U.S. had closed for good. Although restrictions have slowly been lifted which should allow for more foot traffic to local businesses the financial toll on them may have been too great.
An estimated 44% of consumers are concerned about the impact COVID-19 has had on local businesses, according to a recent survey. If you have similar concerns, here are some things you can do to help small businesses in your area stay open.
- Shop Locally
It may be less expensive to order groceries, electronics, and clothing online rather than shop at a local mom-and-pop store. However, if you feel safe entering those stores or they offer alternatives such as curbside pickup, then you should shop locally. It’s estimated that when you support small businesses, for every $100 you spend, $68 stays in the community. While the same $100 spent at a national retailer results in just $43 staying in the community.
Being able to shop locally isn’t just a matter of convenience. A healthy local economy will help maintain or improve home values, as opposed to when too many local small businesses shutdown, home values tend to decline. So you can see, it’s beneficial to everyone in the community when money is spent locally allowing those stores to stay open.
- Endorse local establishments
As of right now we are facing record unemployment rates. If your unemployed you may not be able to afford to support local businesses. However, you can still help them by promoting their goods and reviewing their services through channels such as your social media page. This won’t cost you a penny but has the potential to help put what could be serious money back into a local small businesses account.
- Buy gift cards.
Many local businesses are desperate for money right now and without it they won’t survive long. So while you may not need $500 worth of food from your local grocer or $200 worth of books from a local bookstore, one option could be to buy gift cards to use later on. This will help local businesses maintain some cash flow to keep their doors open.
These are difficult times for small businesses, but remember, when local establishments close, it is not just the owners who suffer; the effects are felt throughout the entire community. We should all do what we can in the coming weeks as businesses reopen to help ensure that once this pandemic finally ends, those businesses will continue to operate and provide benefit to you and your community.