Unique ways to support small
businesses during the pandemic
Small businesses have faced unprecedented
challenges in 2020.
As the COVID-19 pandemic wore
on throughout the year, small businesses
continued to confront the economic
fallout wrought by the virus.
According to the National Bureau
of Economic Research, the number of
active business owners in the United
States plummeted by 22 percent in the
early stages of the pandemic. Though
many businesses managed to hang on
as the pandemic continued through
spring, summer and fall, such businesses
need their communities to continue
to help them stay afl oat.
Consumers have not been immune
to the economic fallout of the COVID-19
pandemic. Unemployment fi gures skyrocketed
across the globe, and in April
retail sales dropped by 14.3 percent
from the previous month according to
statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau
and Deloitte Insights. But consumer
spending gradually increased in various
industries over the summer of
COURIER L 22 IFE, NOV. 27-DEC. 3, 2020
2020. As consumers loosen their purse
strings and begin spending more, they
can embrace some unique ways to help
small businesses in their community.
• Support struggling industries.
Consumers may not typically give
much thought to whether an industry
is struggling before spending their
money, but doing so can help small
businesses that have had an especially
diffi cult time during the pandemic.
Data from the USCB and Deloitte Services
indicates that retail sales in certain
industries continued to lag even
as other industries recovered over the
summer months. Sales in the clothing
and accessory and food services and
drinking places industries were still
down nearly 20 percent in July 2020.
Supporting locally owned businesses
in these industries can infuse some
much-needed cash into their operations.
• Think twice before buying from
big box online retailers. Amazon has
become such a go-to consumer resource
that many shoppers forget they
can comparison shop right on Amazon.
com. And some consumers may be
unaware that they can support small
business when shopping via Amazon.
Data from the Association of American
Publishers indicates that print
revenues have grown by more than
1 percent in 2020 as many people in
quarantine are choosing to spend that
time with a good book. When shopping
for books via a site like Amazon, purchase
books from independent sellers,
who are often small book stores in local
communities across the country.
• Purchase gift cards. Pandemicrelated
restrictions have been lifted
in many places, but that doesn’t necessarily
mean consumers are confi dent
enough to visit their favorite stores
and restaurants in person. Gift cards
can be a great way to support local
businesses even if you’re still hesitant
to patronize them in person.
Small businesses continue to face
an uphill battle as they confront the
economic fallout of the pandemic. Consumers
can show their support for locally
owned businesses in their communities
in various ways.
— Metro Creative Connection
Consumers can embrace some unique ways
to help small businesses in their community.
Metro Creative Connection
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