• Ethan Benge

The Importance of Supporting Small Businesses During COVID-19

Updated: Apr 23



The fish market on the marina with local fresh catches - The hair salon down the street that knows exactly how you want your haircut - The gastropub that makes the best dishes with local ingredients - The pet groomers that give the best care for your fluffy best friend.

These are all the small hometown businesses that help our community thrive. These are the mom and pop shops that are now having to close their doors in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.


It is now more than ever, that these small businesses need our support if we want them to be able to open their doors ever again!


The Impact on Small Businesses

Small businesses rely on local customers buying their products and services throughout the year to stay afloat. These small businesses are a crucial part of the U.S. economy. They keep money in your local communities and they also increase the value of your real estate. When you spend your money at the local store, that money will then go to pay the worker in your neighborhood - but when these businesses have to close their doors, you'll have to spend money on bigger corporations, and that money will no longer stay and support your local community.


According to the National Restaurant Association, the service industry has lost over $25 billion in sales and 3 million jobs. If that isn't bad enough, 50% of restaurant owners are anticipating laying off even more employees by the end of April. Our local businesses normally create a significant percentage of jobs for our community. With the impact they are taking, they won't be able to hire your daughter or brother, instead, they financially won't be able to operate and will need to lay more of your family and friends off.


What can we do to change this? How do we support our neighbors and communities?




How to Support Your Local Businesses?

Now that you know the reason why these mom and pop shops are so important for all of us, here are a couple of ways you can show your support and keep these businesses in business!


Ordering Take Out

The service industry has taken a detrimental hit, with restaurants not able to allowing inside dinning, they have been reduced to just offering take out - The amount of money lost due to this pandemic is crushing, and for some restaurants, staying open is starting to cost them.


A simple way to help them out is by ordering take out - If you normally would visit your favorite restaurant on Thursday night, order take out from them on Thursday!

Most restaurants now are offering curbside pickup, online payments, and anything else to make it easier and more convenient for us to order from them.

Check out some of these unique ways these local restaurants are changing their way of operating right now -


Clear Sky Draught Haus - They are using the tips from to-go orders to give back to their employees and community. The management team has been collecting tips and using them to purchase groceries for their employees. Their sister company, Frenchys has also teamed up with them and doing the same!


HopScotch Cafe - Not only is this local cafe offering curbside pick up for their community, but they are also offering a "Pay What You Can". Talk about supporting your local community!


Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro - This local sushi favorite is now offering a hospitality happy hour. If you work in the service industry, you can order happy hour food from them to-go!

When you're supporting these local restaurants, you're also supporting the workers and your neighbors.


The Little Lamb Gastropub - This local favorite has been creating daily menus for curbside pick up. They also teamed up with local bakeries and farms to make mouth-watering sandos and hand them out to hospitality workers!


Olde Bay Cafe - Along with offering their to-go order, you can also pick up fresh catches by the pound from their market curbside!


The Ubereats app is a quick and easy way to order online that just about everyone has used before, but now they are helping out our local restaurants. They are now making it easy directly give to your favorite restaurants.


Ordering Online

Although it is convenient and easy to shop with Amazon, you should first consider ordering from a local store online. Amazon isn't going anywhere, but your friends shop down the road might be - unless people like you and I are buying from them during this hard time.

Most businesses have websites and offer online orders - check out your local shops and see if you can order online with them.


Gift Cards

If you're favorite restaurants or shops don't offer online ordering, consider buying a gift card to use later. This will not only boost their immediate cash flow but also gives you a chance to visit them at a later time and get that favorite dish or get a new dress for the summer!

This is also a great way for you to earn points on your credit card for a trip after all of this craziness is over!


Tipping

Don't forget all of the servers - They may not be waiting on the table, but now they are ensuring your food is cooked correctly. You have the extra condiments you asked for, the napkins and utensils are not forgotten, and everything is in order for your food. Servers typically rely completely on tips and when they're no longer waiting on tables, tipping them for to-go orders can truly help them and their families out!




Supporting Small Businesses

This is new for all of us as we try to adjust to the way the world is handling this pandemic. It may not be easy or convenient at times, but supporting small businesses is crucial for us all.


The best thing we can all do right now is to show patience, empathy, and support for our neighbors, families, friends, and businesses.


Stay safe, support each other, and make a difference. #supportsmallbusinesses


For more information on small businesses during the Coronavirus, visit the United States Chamber of Commerce.


If you liked this article or would like to be featured in one, contact me with your name and business.


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