Monday, March 30, 2020

What Small Businesses Need Now

"A month ago, if you had told me that schools and colleges would be closed, graduations postponed, all NCAA and pro sports cancelled, restaurants and bars forcibly shuttered, non-‘essential’ businesses closed down, and gatherings of more than 10 persons forbidden, I would have thought you were cooking up an elaborate April Fool’s joke. If you had added that it would be impossible to purchase chicken, beef, eggs, or toilet paper, I would have asked what you were smoking.

Sigh. If only.

We’re living in some deeply weird times, which are presenting some unique challenges, none more so than for small businesses. Restaurants- my heart just breaks for them. Pubs and diners may be able to-barely-scrape by with takeout, but fine dining restaurants are not set up for that. Many of them will simply not survive this.

What Small Businesses Need Now
What Small Businesses Need Now
And what about other businesses that have been forced to close? Clothing stores, toy stores, book stores, nail and hair salons…yeah, way too many to name. Small businesses are fragile. More than 50% of new small businesses fail in the first year-in normal circumstances. Being forced to close your doors is not a normal circumstance. No money coming in, while rent, utilities, insurance, and other liabilities still need to be paid? That’s a small business nightmare.

The coronavirus relief bill that (finally) passed Congress will help, but will it be in time, and will it be enough? Honestly, we all need to do our part to ensure that the small businesses that keep our communities vital can hang on until this is over.

So please, if you can, order takeout from a local restaurant. Contact services you usually use (hair, nails, massage, etc) and buy a gift certificate. They’ll get the money now, you can use the service later. Before buying something from Amazon, see if a local merchant would be willing to deliver that item to you. If a shop is still open, but you don’t want to enter a public space, ask if they’ll do curbside pickup for you. Each of these is a small gesture, but a multitude of small gestures just may save these businesses.

Eventually, this too shall pass. Let’s help make sure our treasured small businesses survive to see that day."

Ann Williams - Pour Richard's Wine and Spirits

Shared with permission

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