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How to help small businesses weather the difficulties of 2020

By Julie Parisi, Director of Business Development at NewBo City Market

From time to time, there are major events that affect everyone.

The COVID-19 pandemic and now the recent derecho that swept through our community has devastated small businesses throughout the Corridor.

Not only are our small business owners reeling from the impacts these things have on their businesses, but they are also dealing with personal matters at home, like roof repairs or staying healthy.

Small businesses create the bulk of the nation’s jobs, cultivate new innovation, and shape our

communities’ personalities. A much higher percentage of the dollars spent in locally-owned businesses— versus chain retailers — remain in the community, generating economic activity that supports schools, parks, first responders, and other vital community services. Many businesses have been able to adapt to the challenges they face due to the pandemic and storm.

The silver lining is there are many things we can all do to help support small business in our community.

Consider incorporating these easy steps when determining where to make your purchases:

  • Buy from locally-owned, independent stores. Many businesses have transitioned their sales to online with delivery options.

  • Buy gift cards. You can use them once the business reopens. In the meantime, you’re providing the business with income it desperately needs to stay afloat.

  • Order carry-out. Oftentimes, customers can select to have their order picked up curbside or delivered.

  • Be flexible. Whether it’s an online class offered by your favorite yoga studio or phone video concierge shopping in your favorite bookshop, give them a try.

  • Donate Your Ticket. If you have a ticket for a performance that has been canceled because of the pandemic, donate it to the arts organization rather than asking for a refund.

  • Leave a Review. This is a great time to leave positive reviews of your favorite local businesses on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other social media. The emotional support goes a long way.

You get a chance every day to vote with your dollars– and, believe me, every vote counts. We’ll all get through this together with a little positivity, thoughtfulness, and patience.

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