Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They are also what gives our society choice, variety, color and in the broadest meaning of the word, diversity. Small businesses are able to fill niches that a larger company can't or won't fill because there is a limited market and often small profit. These include culture specific restaurants and markets, local trades, local stores and local services. With the resurgence of Covid-19, it is taking a toll on these small businesses. Do we only want to shop at Walmart or online at Amazon and eat at McDonald's and get coffee from Starbucks? I have nothing against these companies and they employee a lot of people who need work right now, but do I want them to be my ONLY choice?
Closer to home, I have a friend who has been in the restaurant business all his adult life having taken over the family business when his parents retired. He's grown the business into 3 locations, each one a little different. He was doing OK before the pandemic, not great, but able to employ 70 people and make ends meet. Not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Simple car, simple house but stable. All that is in jeopardy now. With rules and regulations set by the local and state government designed to help stop the spread of the disease, he is going under. Having your patrons eat outside is fine when it's 70 degrees and sunny, but when it's 30 degrees and dark it isn't realistic. It hurts him to think that the 70 people who depend on him to provide them income will be drug down with him. It pains him to think that he'll reside over the death of the family business his parents put so much in to build.
You need to take care of yourself first, because you can't help anyone if you are incapacitated, but if you are managing through this pandemic, now is the time to look into the future and support the businesses you want to have around when this pandemic passes. Restaurants are being hit particularly hard, but so are other small businesses. Be creative in how you support them, order out if you can, buy your presents from local stores, help advocate for them and please support your local, small businesses and charities!
Adversity often brings out the best in people - now's the time to show you care.