The Small Business Struggle. Shop Small & Think Big
By Beth Hoad
The devastation that COVID-19 has brought has severely impacted the way we as humans will forever live. With people fleeing big cities, and small businesses having to close up shop, the effects of this pandemic have drastically changed and continue to alter lives.
New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, were some of the hardest hit hotspots and the ripple effects of Covid are still causing issues for city businesses. “Work from Home” culture became the new normal, with people relocating to less expensive and more spacious remote locations instead of pricey and crowded cosmopolitan areas. And with jobs plummeting and cities in a full lockdown, it’s no wonder people turned to hibernation. When neighborhoods became vacant with high rent prices it became clear many small businesses would struggle to stay afloat. With foot traffic nearly nonexistent from a country in lockdown, small businesses were going to face a hard road ahead.
I used to love wandering around the streets of New York, going in and out of local shops that had unique items. However, Covid made it unsafe, so the shops you would once stumble across now battle to keep their doors open, often without an online store. Businesses were struggling behind doors, with shipments and production delays due to Covid. These delays from around the world have a huge impact on the business and the customer. This happened to “Belief”, a NY skateboard vendor whose severe delays in receiving boards to their store due to the pandemic greatly impacted their sales. These delays were not uncommon elsewhere and in a time of uncertainty, challenges like these can kill a business and leave small shops far behind.
Some shops that were able to open back up still face unseen obstacles. Many have had to invest in protective gear, enhanced cleaning procedures, and apply strict occupancy numbers while shopping. When you shop local, you’re not only helping the business, but also the owners who are putting in everything to keep their shops open. However, still with little revenue coming in, and on the verge of collapsing, some stores changed the way they sold products - instead turning to online marketing and e-commerce as part of a forced evolution.
The power of social media and influencers has had an enormous impact on many small businesses. With #shoplocal initiatives flooding social media platforms, it encourages consumers to look outside big brands and help support local business. However, it’s still tough to build a brand and develop strong relationships with customers when they haven’t physically been into a shop or personally know of the brand. NY brand “caliynY” was focusing on building brand awareness, but the pandemic made it nearly impossible to make real life customer connections and it greatly impacted the ability to create content.
With shops slowly opening back up, it’s imperative we strive to help local communities. From one city habitant to another, the best way to get back to normality is by investing in those around us. By following CDC guidelines, we believe your choices can have a safe, positive impact on local communities and help restore cities to the bustling atmospheres that we love.
D.O.B is committed to supporting small businesses in our communities and local neighborhoods.