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Supporting Small Businesses in your Community During Coronavirus Crisis

-Editorial

  • Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.
  • The community can and should support small businesses in their communities to survive during the Coronavirus crisis.

This is a tough time for small businesses, and as states start to order businesses to close, the community as a whole needs to come together to support their survival.

As schools cancel classes, workers are asked to work from home, public events are canceled and social distancing is required to mitigate the Coronavirus Crisis, the drop in clientele and a reluctance to go out could be a serious threat that could make some small businesses disappear.

In this regard, the government is already doing its part, since the SBA is ready to work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The program is called the “Economic Injury Disaster Loan program”, which will provide small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Just as we have seen that toilet paper ridiculously disappears from all stores as a reaction of people to feel safe before the pandemic and Coronavirus threat, we all need to calm down and prepare with those things that could truly affect our communities, such as it is the loss of jobs and financial security of local families.

In Imperial County, only two cases have been confirmed by people who traveled and not by a community spread, and more and more countries tightened quarantine measures, which is seriously affecting businesses everywhere. A recent survey found that 60% of small businesses are considering wage cuts and staffing cutbacks, while 35% said they may have to close. More than 80% expect the situation to get worse. Just as we were developing this article we received a phone call from a recent client who is a restaurant owner and brewer in San Diego letting us know that he was being hit by this terrible crisis and forced to close his businesses and for that reason, he had to put his advertisement campaign on hold and continue to advertise until his business gets back on track.

While federal, state and local governments are already creating measures to support small businesses during this crisis, there also are some small ways that individuals, if they have the means, can help small businesses stay afloat through the crisis. Don’t wait until it’s too late to help your neighbors.

Buy gift cards.

Buying gift cards from local restaurants you love will help them get their cash today and use it later.

Shop local — online and off.

Coronavirus is stopping people from going outside and shop as they regularly do, so many small businesses are already being hard hit by this trend, reason why many small businesses are now considering extremely reduced hours for workers since they don’t have enough income. Most of this business has a delivery-carry out option for local customers, so it’s a good time to take advantage of this option and take for favorite treat home.

Take advantage of the discounts.

Because of the crisis, many small businesses will offer discounts to attract customers, so take advantage of them, support the cause and save money.

Most of those places that were offering special events but had to cancel, are now offering special discounts for those people who would rather stay home, and prefer takeout orders. Check on their websites to find out.

Order in.

Many independently owned restaurants and food businesses that haven’t previously done so are now getting on to delivery platforms like Uber Eats or Postmates, check them out and support them.

Tip a little more than usual.

How you pay may be a concern. If you’re sick or in a self-quarantine or if you’re elderly and at risk, you might use your credit card to pay over the phone, including the tip for the delivery person, and ask them to leave the bag of food outside your door.

But if you are fine and not in a 14-day quarantine, there’s no reason not to open your door and hand the delivery person a tip.

If you do go to a restaurant or bar, or when you order takeout, consider being a little extra generous on the tips for wait staff and delivery people, since their income will drop due to fewer hours.

A bigger tip may not directly contribute to a restaurant’s bottom line, but it does help others and it contributes to the spirit of goodwill and appreciation in the community, which can help with everyone’s mood.

The sudden outbreak and rapid spread of coronavirus across countries have thrown the world into a frenzy.

Corporations across the country are taking drastic measures by closing or having people work from home, but for locally owned companies, staying open is important to stay afloat.

It’s also important that we all remember what small businesses represent our community and our country. They are 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and are the heart of our communities; they contribute to local economies by bringing growth and innovation to the community in which the business is established. Small businesses also help stimulate economic growth by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations.

During these hard times, we must come together and consider that when the community suffers or needs help, local businesses always show up and step up. Please consider helping them and supporting them in a time where business may be sparse like this time of crisis.

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