-Written by Jim Lamacusa, Founder of Cusa Tea and Coffee
Let’s be honest, the pandemic has been awful to small businesses!
A lot of people are wondering why the stock market is setting records, but small businesses are failing across America. There are many reasons, but the main ones are that many of the big companies that are in the stock market are benefiting from the pandemic (like Netflix, Google, Amazon), and the ones that may not be benefiting from the pandemic have cash reserves to survive the downturn.
Neither of these are the case for small business America. We don’t have the cash reserves to survive 12 months of reduced sales, not to mention a complete change in strategy. According to Fortune Magazine, over 100,000 small businesses have already closed permanently in 2020, and they estimate that 1 in 5 total businesses are expected to close by the end of the year!
The represents an enormous part of our economy, as well as the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans that took a chance on starting their own company. Because of all of this, I wanted to tell you the top 5 things you can do to help, from a small business owner’s perspective.
5 things you can do to help small businesses
Buy directly from the brand, not Amazon
First of all, thank you for buying a small business' products, wherever you get them! Having said that, it is WAY more helpful to buy directly from the brand versus another website, like Amazon. I know, I know, it is incredibly easy to just click and buy from Amazon, and it is better than nothing. What most people don’t understand is that, by the time you add up all the commission and fees, Amazon takes about 50% of the sale. Yes, 50%!!! So please take the extra couple of minutes and buy direct when possible. Most brands have a free shipping minimum, and many of us actually have cheaper prices on our website versus Amazon. (Wink, wink)
Consider Giving All or Most of Your Gifts from Small Businesses this Holiday
Yes, it will be more work and take more thought. But imagine the impact if 25% or 50% of Americans gave gifts this year from small businesses versus large corporations? That would guarantee the survival of a lot of small businesses in our country.
Buy a Gift Card for Your Favorite Restaurant
We all know that the restaurant industry has been one of the most hard-hit industries in America, and we all love our local haunts. Many restaurants have the option to buy a gift card online, or at their location. Think about buying a few gift cards for use at a later date, or better yet, as gifts this season. Let’s help keep our local restaurants surviving!
Share Brands You Love on Social Media
Giving a trusted review or recommendation to your family and friends is one of the most impactful things you can do to help a small business. Please consider sharing a few small businesses you love on Facebook/Instagram to help draw more attention to the companies that you want to stick around.
Write a Positive Review
Similar to the above, consumers trust each other more than anyone else. Spend a few minutes a week giving positive and honest reviews on whichever platform makes the most sense for you. It could be on their website, Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc. Also, we LOVE to hear from consumers. Take a few moments and message your favorite small businesses through social media, email or phone. Nothing makes my day more than when I hear from a customer who loves our product.
In the spirit of helping out other small businesses and maybe making your shopping a little easier, here are a few brands that I love and think you will too!
Founded and run by an amazing woman, Casey Easton, this Boulder-based cooking school has had to quickly pivot during COVID. They now offer Cooking Kits for adults and kids that have everything you need to make amazing dishes complete with live virtual cooking classes. Why not learn something new and/or get your kids learning to cook early? Check them out here!
This company is founded by my first ever boss, Steve Savage! They make incredible and efficacious cleaning supplies for the whole house that are environmentally friendly for you and the world. From now through Nov 30th, get 20% off using the code NEWSITE20. Check them out here!
Khala & Co
We fell in love with Khala’s zero-waste beeswax food wraps the moment we saw them. Say goodbye to single use plastic wrap forever. Use the code ECOHOLIDAY for 25% off through Nov 30th. Check them out here!
Basic Kneads Pizza
If you live the Denver metro area, this za’s for you. This is hands down the best pizza on the planet and is run by two of my good friends who opened just one year ago. You can imagine what kind of year it has been for them! They offer delivery and gift cards so you can try it now, or get a gift card for later. You will not be disappointed, I promise! Use the code SMALLBUSINESS to get 10% off gift cards. Check them out here!