Did you know that the average small business has less than 30 days worth of cash on hand? ...and your local mom-and-pop shops can have even less.* Since the COVID-19 pandemic is still having an impact on many small businesses, here's what you can do to help.
Shop Local, Shop Online
About two-thirds of all new jobs in the US come from small businesses.** With only a handful of stores reopening, the ones that aren't still need your support. One way to help your favorite local business, is to see if they have an e-commerce (online store) presence. Just because you may not physically be able to see the shop owner, they are real people with real products and services.
A good way to find local small businesses in your area is by going to websites like locally.com. You can also look at your local Chamber of Commerce website or local small business group. Other websites such as Etsy and livebuylocal.com sell items from local artisans.
Gift Cards For Later
Your favorite local shop may be closed or currently have limited hours, but you can still help support them financially. See if they can offer you a gift card for purchase - it can help bring in some revenue to keep the lights on. Many local restaurants and shops have missed out bringing in revenue during the Spring and Summer months, but you can help put money back in their pocket and help keep them afloat.
Delivery or Curbside Pickup
Have a favorite eatery? Chances are you can order online through their website (or via phone), or apps like GrubHub and DoorDash for a safe, touchless-delivery. Contacting the restaurant directly will help you save money from third-party app fees. Studies have found that ordering from a restaurant has a very low risk of the COVID-19 virus, as many places adhere to strict municipal and state guidelines. This is a delicious way to continue your support to your local restaurants.
If you're able to, go ahead and pay for services and goods that you'd normally use in advance. Even if you don't need them right away, local businesses will be happy to have a financial advancement to spread out over these next few months. These purchases can be anywhere from holiday items, cleaning or landscaping services, or even dance lessons. While it may not affect your income to pre-pay, it will help the income of the businesses you're prepaying from.
When times get tough, it's nice to know there are services and individuals out there who can help. If you, or know someone who is a small business owner, the U.S. Small Business Administration has put in place special pandemic refelif funds to help. You can find more information on the SBA website HERE.
Looking to donate to other charitable initiatives? You can donate to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which has helped over 43,000 restaurant workers since the pandemic. Or try the Opportunity Fund's Small Business Relief Fund, whose organization raises money to help small businesses - particularly business owners who are women, immigrants or minorities.
There is still much uncertainty of when the COVID-19 pandemic will bring us back to our normal lives - but in the meantime, let's giving a helping hand to those who need it and get through this together.
Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Westport, Connecticut, and Red Bank, New Jersey. We service businesses with marketing strategies, digital marketing, social media, and consultations.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (203) 429-9671
*according to the JPMorgan Chase Institute.
**according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce