7 Easy Ways to Help Small Businesses Survive Pandemic
March is Mom and Pop Business Owners Month, and we at Phinney Lumber can really appreciate what it means to be a small family owned business. Small companies, like the ones in your community owned by your friends and neighbors, make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, (source: Small Business Administration, 2018). These small businesses make a huge impact on the country’s economy by employing almost half of the country’s workforce. Yes, almost half! If small businesses cannot afford to re-hire furloughed workers or are pushed toward the brink of bankruptcy, the country’s post-pandemic recovery could be in serious jeopardy. But you can help.
Here are 7 easy ways you can support the small businesses in your community and help them weather the Covid 19 storm:
1. Dine at a Distance. Restaurants are possibly the hardest hit by COVID, as cost margins on
food are slim; and operating at less than full capacity was a financial struggle for restaurants long before Covid struck. Support local restaurants by continuing to enjoy your favorite menu items as a “ghost” guest through takeout and delivery. Find out which restaurants are offering what by clicking here.
2. Buy gift cards. You can purchase gift cards from businesses across the country to help them with their cash flow now while giving yourself a treat to look forward to (like a spa day, overnight B&B stay, or a shopping spree) at a later date. Visiting Helpmainstreet.com will help you to help them.
3. Shop small. As a response to the pandemic, most small businesses have pickup and/or delivery services in place so you can easily and safely get what you need while helping them keep their doors open. Forget the big box stores; you can shop local online and get quality products and service with the same great convenience. Check out what our friends at We are Maine Strong have put together to help you help small businesses.
4. Choose credits over refunds. Asking for a credit when you return something allows you to get the replacement item you need without negatively impacting the businesses’ cash flow.
5. Amp up on social media. Use social media to shout out to businesses you love and want to support. A great review can boost a small businesses’ credibility and reputation, helping them attract new customers and bring in much needed income.
6. Shop local artisans. Check out your local small businesses for pandemic supplies: a nearby distillery for hand sanitizer, an artisan soap maker for soap, a tailor or seamstress for facemasks. Try Maine Made and the Maine Crafts Association websites for ideas.
7. Buy your groceries from a farmer. Now is a great time to help neighborhood farmers, especially ones who sell most of their products to restaurants (as their main clients may no longer be buying from them), by participating in Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA). It’s easy; you sign up with a participating farm and buy a share of their harvest which they will have ready for you each week throughout the farming season. The Maine Organic Farmers’ Directory will help you find a farm near you!
The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted many of us in unforgettable ways; and we can do our part to ensure that at least some of that impact is positive. We encourage you to celebrate Mom and Pop Business Owners Month this year by supporting small businesses in any way you can. From our family to yours, we thank you!