November 21, 2020

Letter from a Small Business Owner: “This year, I implore you to Shop Local.”

 

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Dear shoppers,

I know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up. I’ve already been inundated with ads for these “special” days. However, most of these ads are from big chain stores.

This year, I implore you to shop local and shop small, if at all possible.

COVID-19 has affected many small businesses, but you may not be aware of how bad it is because most of us are too prideful to ask for help. (But if you ask us the question, we will usually be honest with you.)

One business I spoke to this week said they are receiving about 10 percent of their usual revenue. I talked to another business owner a couple of months back, and they said they weren’t sure if they would make it.  

The expected help from the government really never came, and the PPP loans were a huge debacle for so many.

I, myself, had to shut down my dance and yoga studio because my business partner and I could not justify paying rent with no end in sight and no students attending classes or teachers renting space. Rather than ask for help, we simply shuttered our doors.

Buying local is important because it keeps your community employed. It helps locals feed their families and pay their rent or mortgages. It helps your local government to continue functioning properly with the sales tax revenue. It also reduces the fossil fuel usage that is normally required for shipping items. It really is a win-win situation.

If buying local isn’t an option because you can’t find it in your neck of the woods, try shopping at small businesses first.

Buying from small businesses will help those businesses stay open longer and possibly make it through the rest of the pandemic. Many small businesses operate only online and don’t have a storefront to save on expenses. You can try searching on Etsy or even Instagram to find those small online businesses.

If at all possible, please don’t put money into the big chains or the ‘Zon. They have more assets and loans available to them than any small business will ever have.

And if you are like me, shopping throughout the year so you can avoid retail stores as much as you can from Thanksgiving to Christmas, more power to you. Spending time with family is far more important than things.

Sincerely,

A small business owner

~

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