Small businesses weren’t just hit by the coronavirus; they were pummeled.
In a research article published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the authors used a survey of more than 5,800 small businesses to highlight the economic impact of COVID-19 on small, local, family-run enterprises across the country.
As the authors explained, “43% of businesses had temporarily closed, and nearly all of these closures were due to COVID-19. Respondents that had temporarily closed largely pointed to reductions in demand and employee health concerns as the reasons for closures.”
However, in the wake of the pandemic, more Americans are going out of their way to support small businesses and help them survive the ripples for COVID-19.
Seven in Ten Americans Rethinking Their Purchasing Power
It’s been said a million times before, but in our new coronavirus reality this cliche has unprecedented meaning: shoppers have purchasing power. Where and how they choose to spend their money does impact their local economies and, to an extent, the national economy as a whole.
In a survey of 2,000 Americans, 70% admitted they’ve experienced a wake-up call to this fact during the COVID-19 pandemic. These shoppers witnessed the devastating effects of the coronavirus on local small businesses and made the decision to “shop small” instead of supporting large, nearly invincible corporations and chains.
Furthermore, 79% of respondents admitted the pandemic has changed their perspective on the importance of small businesses within communities. These are just a few of the ways that average Americans are showing support to small businesses who rely on customer loyalty to survive:
- Larger tips for delivery drivers
- Ordering from local, non-chain restaurants
- Donating money on business websites
- Writing online reviews to encourage others to visit local business
“This crisis has disproportionately affected small businesses and our hearts go out to local merchants, who have often poured their life savings into their businesses,” said Simon Goodall, Chief Commercial Officer of Groupon.
“As some businesses begin to slowly and responsibly open back up, it’s encouraging to see that many Americans plan to continue to help their communities recover by supporting small, local businesses.”
A few of the small businesses that Americans are most excited to visit again? Not surprisingly, the list includes coffee shops, restaurants, hair salons, gyms, boutiques, bars, and nail salons.