Life has changed since lockdown. Even though businesses are beginning to open their doors, occupancy limits and mask mandates serve as reminders that the pandemic is still present.
CNBC stated that as of August 31st 163,735 small businesses indicated on Yelp that they closed due to the COVID pandemic. While the number of temporary closures has decreased since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of permanent closures has increased.
How can consumers support their community businesses while still social-distancing? Forbes offered some suggestions such as:
- Order to-go from restaurants
- Order delivery from shops
- Buy gift cards or credit for future use
- Remember to tip, and tip generously
- Promote smalls businesses on social media
- If you do decide to visit in-person, wear a mask and respect the business’s COVID guidelines
Small businesses stimulate local economies and also help develop community. They are also less likely than large corporations to survive during the pandemic. They face rent and electricity bills, and often only use one store front. Sometimes they are family-run and can be the sole source of the family’s income.
Simple behavior changes can help small businesses survive the uncertain time. Delivering gifts from local stores, ordering in from small, local restaurants, and picking up coffee from smaller shops rather than large chains all help small businesses.
Most importantly, if you must enter the store physically, please remember to respect the business’s health guidelines and be cognizant of other customers’ space.