We have all been affected by the pandemic in some way in the last 10 months. Whether it was emotionally, physically, or financially, I think one thing we can all agree on is that 2020 sucked. While some students may be upset that their study abroad trip was canceled or that they can’t stand in line at their favorite bar, it is important to remember the more serious tolls the coronavirus has taken on families and individuals across the world. Luckily, no one in my family has contracted COVID-19 physically, however as a family who owns a small business, I have seen the effects of COVID-19 in a different kind of stressful way.
Since last March more than 100,000 small businesses have been forced to close their doors due to the Coronavirus. While at first many small businesses thought the lockdown wouldn’t last more than two weeks, Yelp data now shows that 60% of business closures related to COVID-19 are now permanent.
Not only are small businesses the backbone and character of every town, they are also many families’ source of income and employment.
Here are four ways you can help keep the doors of small businesses open during the pandemic.
- Wait To Use Gift Cards
While purchasing gift cards is a great way to support small businesses, try and restrain yourself from using them till after the pandemic. Businesses now more than ever need all the help they can get and it is more beneficial if you pay upfront now and use the gift card later once businesses are more stable.
- Order Take-Out
Restaurants have been hit worse by the pandemic with 17% closing due to COVID restrictions. Although I am not certain of COVID restrictions in different states, my parent’s restaurant in Boston, MA is limited to only 25% capacity, which in some restaurants means only 10 people. A great way to support small businesses with strict dining restrictions is to order take-out and to always tip well!
- Donate On GoFundMe Pages
Many struggling small businesses haven’t been able to afford to keep all their employees on payroll so instead, they have turned to GoFundMe pages to help pay them. If you are able to do so, I’d recommend donating to businesses’ GoFundMe pages found on their website or Instagram bio! Some families are really relying on your donations!
- Skip Shopping At Chain Stores
When possible, try purchasing from businesses or restaurants you have never heard the name of. Skip buying groceries at Target or snacks on Amazon and find a local produce store to support instead.
Some people put everything they have and all their energy into their small businesses; now more than ever it is time to appreciate and support their hard work!
Shop small & wear your mask :)