We saw with our own eyes how COVID-19 devastated our nation and the world both in the health and economic aspect just this past year. Lives were lost. Livelihood was lost. Those of us who survived are placed in a season of fear, uncertainty and tremendous loss.
This season of COVID-19 still isn’t over. We’re not out of the woods yet.
It’s a difficult time for all of us, but we want to highlight one of the sectors that really need your help right now—your local small businesses. Here’s why:
1. Most small businesses don’t have the financial means to weather a pandemic.
COVID-19 has caused small businesses to close for days, weeks, even months. This is a huge blow to the cash reserve which is badly needed for small businesses to stay afloat.
Most small businesses are mums and dads, families or sole traders. They do not have the cash reserves to sustain rent, paying staff, suppliers and idle inventory. Borrowing money is an option, but banks have also recently tightened their lending practices in recent years, especially cautious about lending to small businesses which are significantly affected by the pandemic.
2. It keeps the money within the community.
Buying from your local store allows a higher percentage of your dollars to remain within the community compared to when you purchase from national retail chains. When you purchase outside of your community, your money is sent far away—mostly to the pockets of a company’s executive and stockholders.
The local business owners you support are also the ones utilising your own community’s services. The money being retained within the community generates economic activity which supports schools, farms, parks, and other vital community services. It helps incentivise creation of local jobs and encourages creation of more local businesses. Remember, buying local does not only benefit you; it benefits your entire community.
3. Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbours!
Local small businesses adapt their products and services to meet their community needs. They care more, are more accountable to their local community and are invested in the community’s well-being with the future in mind. The business owners are the people you constantly meet and run into, the same people who are more likely to support your own business or require your services as well.
4. It keeps more Aussies in jobs and less demand for welfare.
According to the National Skills Commission, nearly one-third of businesses have reduced staff since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to reduced cash flow, many small businesses have either reduced staff hours or let staff go.
When you support a small business in your community, you are helping that business stay open and, in turn, help their staff keep their jobs. These employees are breadwinners, mostly belonging to families with kids. If you can purchase locally instead of going to bigger or multinational chains, you are helping them keep their jobs and building a stronger community with less reliance on welfare benefits.
How Can You Help?
- For you it may be just a few dollars, but for your local small business, every small transaction is precious.
- So if you see your local small business opening store and you have the means to purchase or get services from them, please do so.
- Don’t stop with yourself. Buy their gift cards or vouchers to give to a family member or friend.
- Leave positive reviews on their social media pages after a satisfying encounter and share it to your neighbours.
- Check out what your local store has to offer first before heading to the big-chain store.
A healthy small business sector is essential for your community to thrive and create more employment opportunities. Let’s help each other build a stronger community as we face COVID-19 together.