Small Businesses & COVID-19: How can I help? We all feel the impact of COVID-19. Restaurants are closed, events are being cancelled, people are working from home, and Stay-at-Home orders are being issued. Many of us see the immediate impact on our own lives but not looking at the future second and third order effects this unprecedented event will continue to have.
Earlier this year we all signed up for the same things we look forward to every year. You may have signed your kids up for Little League baseball or community soccer; you may have bought tickets for concerts, cook-offs, or a charity race. The organizations that host these events need those registration fees. Your kids’ sports teams need the money to pay for equipment and field maintenance. The concerts and races could be the primary annual funding for a non-profit children’s charity. These are the second order effects this pandemic has on our communities. Many of us consider these unfortunate aspects but the third order effects are oftentimes forgotten.
Small businesses across the country are suffering as a result of these cancellations. Many businesses rely on large events happening in their communities to support their business and employees’ livelihoods. The concession stands at the community ballpark run by volunteers from a domestic violence shelter receive half of the stand’s profits for the year.
The restaurants that rely on the influx of tourists to the community’s annual celebrations.
The Local MMA gym where resident go to train and get in a workout.
The landscaping company who maintains the baseball and soccer fields and well as our homes.
The print shop who prints all the t-shirts and signs for the little leagues, schools and other events.
The high school student who is saving up to attend prom, graduation, or trade school/college. Yes, that student works as the baseball umpire, soccer referee, and as a lifeguard.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. They are our neighbors. They are the parents of our children’s friends. They are our friends. They are our family. They are us. Now more than ever, it is important to show our support to these small businesses that provide so much support for our towns and cities.
So how can I help?
As more leagues are cancelled, our instinct is to request refunds. What if, instead, we ask that money go to support the small business it was intended for? Instead of asking for your money back on the $10 t-shirt to support your son’s soccer team, you told that print business to keep it.
Rather than requesting your 5K sign-up fee back, you asked for it to be donated to that children’s charity you were running in support of. Send the $20 you would have spent on lunch at the office to your favorite local restaurant for a gift certificate.
If we all focus on the small ways we can give back to our small businesses. We can generate big changes in the lives of our friends, our family, our small businesses.