You don’t have to walk down the street in your neighborhood (especially if you should be practicing social distancing and staying at home) to know that small businesses around the U.S. and the world are suffering as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
As local governments enforce tighter restrictions on which types of businesses can operate, foot traffic in previously highly populated areas plummets, and companies deal with limited or compromised workforces due to COVID-19, small businesses will struggle over the next few months to maintain cash flow. Some have already shuttered indefinitely, while others plan to hang on until, hopefully, help arrives.
“Help” should be economic relief from the federal and state government, in the form of business grants and low-cost loans, tax payment extensions, and rent and eviction freezes. But until comprehensive stimulus packages pass, that help remains mostly out of reach.
If you’re a concerned individual who wants to help support the small businesses that power the American economy and make up the fabric of your community, you’re not alone. Here at Fundera and across the internet landscape, we’ve seen an outpouring of support for small businesses. But if you can’t simply go shop from your favorite businesses, how can you help them in this trying time?
We spoke to a variety of small business owners across the country and asked how people can support them while we wait for the tides to change and for legislation to pass. This is what they said.
Restaurants and other food service businesses are taking the brunt of the economic toll during the coronavirus outbreak, as in many cities they’ve been forced to only serve take-out and delivery orders. A major part of the restaurant experience is, well, going to the restaurant.
Daniel DeLeon, president & CEO of Grumpy’s Restaurant, a family-owned diner located in Jacksonville, Florida, says that his restaurant has emphasized direct take-out, rather than delivery:
“Delivery can sometimes be helpful, but a lot of local, non-metropolitan and small businesses either don’t have quality delivery systems to keep up with this ongoing situation, or cannot profit enough after the high costs of third party delivery to stay afloat,” says DeLeon. “Small businesses can implement curbside pickup to provide an avenue for customers who don’t feel comfortable dining in, which has helped us a little to serve our patrons.”
While using third-party apps like Seamless is popular, particularly among younger generations, small businesses have to pay to be featured on those platforms. Calling directly and picking up yourself means all of your money goes directly to the business.