Community Businesses During COVID-19

Katie Martin, Falcon Post Staff

During the coronavirus pandemic, there have been many changes in the world and people have had to adapt. Local and small businesses have been hit hard. These businesses lack locations all over to help bring in customers, and they struggle in staying competitive because they’re lesser known than large corporations. Many businesses are struggling to stay open, or have even gone bankrupt.

Imagine you have just started getting enough income after starting up your own business, or you have just recently opened. Then you hear the news that there’s a virus being spread. You don’t think much of it until it reaches the US, and before you know it, you have had to change the way you run your entire business. You have to adapt to stay safe, and your plans for the future are askew. You have to start making budget cuts because you are losing business while simultaneously expending more money on increased sanitation measures; you have to learn how to use online resources; you worry you will have to file for bankruptcy.

The pandemic has forced businesses to adapt, and people have had to come up with new ideas to continue life as “normal” as possible. For example, some gyms and yoga studios offer live workouts and allow customers to rent and take home equipment. Certain restaurants have become takeout or delivery only, and brick-and-mortar establishments have taken sanitation to another level. Doctors’ offices have come up with ways to keep waiting rooms clear by calling patients from the parking lot, and animal hospitals will even pick up your animals/pets right from your car.

Businesses are adapting not only for their own profits but for the people most affected by the virus. For example, for every meal you buy at the Nantucket Culinary Center they donate a meal to a family in need. Visit their website to partake: “Chef Greg and Joy Margolis of the Nantucket Culinary Center at the corner of Broad & Federal streets are offering: aGet One, Give One” program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For each meal purchased by a customer, they will provide a meal to those in need. Call in your order to 508-221-6261 for curbside delivery.”

Local businesses are important to support and buy from. Buying locally helps the economy because your money stays in the community which helps other businesses grow as well. When you buy locally you’re benefiting as a patron too; for example, you as a customer are very important to small businesses because they do not get as many customers as chain businesses. As well, if you’re buying from a boutique or shop, the items you get are most often more unique than something at a department store. 

Many small businesses have had to close during the pandemic and many more will continue to file for bankruptcy. The Washington Post says “It’s simply not possible for small businesses to survive with no income coming in for weeks followed by reopening at half capacity.”  When trying to survive economically as a business, companies have to lay off employees, harming their families. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to this; with larger companies, you’re less likely to get laid off because they have more employees and larger funds. Closed businesses hurt the community because many people and other business owners depend on them and when they are closed, owners and customers no longer have access to the goods and services those businesses provided, both to consumers and the community. Go out and support local businesses during this hard time; it’s vital to the economy.

Aiding local businesses is so important!

Here are a few resources that I encourage you to read, where you can learn about places you should support. https://bestofthebull.com/12-black-owned-businesses-in-durham-every-local-should-know/ 

https://shopdurhamnc.com/directory/durham/?postType=listing&listing-location=%5B176%5D&postsPerPage=30

Sometimes it’s hard to find local businesses to buy from, so here are my tips for you: look on social media, explore your area online, ask friends, look at websites like yelp, download apps and use the internet to your advantage.  

Supporting small, local business is important, but so is your safety. Make sure to wear a mask when you leave your house, wash your hands frequently and distance yourself from others.

The pandemic has had a massive effect on small businesses, and they need your help.