A lot is going on in the world, and the future seems uncertain for so many small businesses. Even with most states opening up at least partially, many small businesses all over the country have been forced to stay closed for the past three months; some may not reopen.
During the pandemic, most states had stay-at-home or shelter in place orders. These government decisions on public safety forced residents to either remain shut entirely, have delivery and pickup only (like restaurants), add an e-commerce element (product companies), or find other creative ways to stay alive.
A study conducted jointly by Harvard University, Harvard Business School, The University of Illinois, and the University of Chicago predicts some grim numbers. Economists have predicted that 100,000 small businesses have already permanently shut down, 2% of small businesses that had existed in the U.S. And that study was conducted back in March so that that number will increase.
And for consumers who may be working remotely, continuing social distancing out of a sense of caution, there may be a temptation to turn to Amazon or big-box retailers for shopping because of the convenience and price point. But I’d like to urge you to consider another option if it’s at all possible in your current situation. I’d like to urge you to look at small business options, especially if those small businesses exist within your community.
This might include going to local restaurants ( or doing pickup or delivery directly from the restaurants. It might involve frequenting your local bookshop instead of buying on Amazon. This could even mean discovering small businesses in your community that you didn’t even know existed.
And that could be fun!
Maybe there’s a boutique in your neighborhood that you didn’t know existed; perhaps there are smaller supermarkets that are struggling to stay open that you could give your business to. Go online, look up the local versions of what you’re looking for. Shopping at a smaller store could mean putting food on a family’s table, helping to pay for their children’s education, and contributing to your local economy.