The importance of shopping locally has been emphasized with increasing urgency in recent years. Events like Small Business Saturday have brought some much-needed attention to the importance of shopping local, which is even more crucial now as so many small businesses try to survive the pandemic.

A poll from the trade group the National Federation of Independent Business reported that about half of all the businesses in the survey reported a 25 percent drop in sales since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, and roughly one in five businesses have seen sales decline by more than 50 percent. If the economic climate does not radically improve, it is projected that 20 percent of small businesses won’t survive.

According to NBC News, small businesses employ 60 million people in the United States, almost half of the nation’s private-sector employees. In addition, small businesses generate tax revenues that help communities by funding schools, maintaining parks and contributing to public safety programs. However, based on research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, even before COVID-19 spread across the world, only 20 percent of healthy small businesses had sufficient cash reserves to continue to operate if they experienced a revenue loss for two months. Some have been shuttered for much longer.

Here is how you can make a difference.

  • Look for small businesses for any and all of your shopping needs. Chances are items sold by big box retailers also are sold by small businesses.
  • Readily provide recommendations of small businesses with which you have done business. Share great experiences on social media or through word of mouth.
  • Talk to small businesses owners first if you have an issue. Give small businesses a chance to make it right before taking things public.
  • If you own a small business, rely on other small businesses to fulfill your needs.

Small businesses have experienced unprecedented setbacks due to COVID-19. By supporting small businesses, communities can help them regain stable footing. 

Check out this week's Main Street Fairview for Fairview's Small Business Saturday advertisements!

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