Supporting small businesses in your area is so important, especially now with the holidays in sight and more COVID restrictions.

With everything going on in the world right now and the holidays just around the corner, it is important to help those within our communities, especially those running small businesses. Due to mass closures in March there were huge losses of revenue for many independently owned businesses, even causing some to close down permanently.  

The new mandate in place until Dec. 14 requires restaurants to close for in person dining which resulted in the fear of losing clientele to other, more essential, businesses. Those that managed to keep their doors open are getting hit hard again. The holiday season is always an important time of the year for businesses, considering it is typically when they are projected to acquire the biggest profit. But, with the mandates having been put into place due to COVID, it’s making it harder for the small businesses to make these profits they desperately need. 

A small business is an independently, locally owned and operated company that is limited in size and in revenue. In his mandate, Jay Inslee states, “In-store retail, grocery stores and personal services are limited to 25% of occupancy and must close any congregate areas.” Unfortunately, for small businesses — with already limited sales space — this mandate means an absolute limitation on sales potential. Whereas bigger stores, such as Target and Walmart, will see a larger portion of customers in the proposed 25% occupancy.

On top of that, the larger corporate stores provide a wide variety of items, things such as art supplies, books, toys and games that can be purchased, while small businesses that sell the same things are struggling to stay afloat. They have been in business for years and now because the mandate has frightened people to stay home and order items online, their business is declining at an even larger rate and pressuring the concept of online vending. 

Small independently owned businesses aren’t the only ones getting hit hard, restaurants are in the same boat. When going to a small restaurant in person you go for the experience because, usually, they provide a more home-like feeling compared to big chains. But, since we are unable to have this sit down experience, it takes away one of the best aspects. 

If you want to support restaurants in your area there is one important thing you need to know: you have to order from the restaurant directly. This may require that you actually go to the restaurant and pick up the food yourself. However, it is important that you don’t just use a delivery service like Uber Eats or Grubhub since it does not lend your support in the same way. 

If you use UberEats the restaurant automatically loses a set percentage that is given to UberEats in order to compensate for pickup and delivery charges. This is taking money right out of the pocket of the business that you are trying to support. 

It is important to keep these small businesses alive in your communities because they make the community what it is and boost local economy. They don’t make millions like the big brand name companies continue to make, they lean on the local community to come to them and rely on word of mouth to get others to enjoy their services. If these businesses were to disappear, not only would that take away the community feeling, but the big corporations will come in and take the space that should be for community-based businesses.

Instead of supporting your community, you will become a supporter of the billionaire who promotes and sells unhealthy food all over the world while simultaneously exploiting the labor of their workers. By shopping small you are helping your own community grow. And not only this, you are also helping someone’s dreams become a reality and helping local families thrive. 

Shopping at small businesses not only helps the people who own the store make a living while carrying out their dreams, but it also helps the community and local economy as well. This is why we should all try our best to shop and eat at small businesses. These people care about what they are doing, they aren’t trying to get you in and out with a fast time, they want you to enjoy yourself. It’s about the love of the craft and a genuine experience. Building these community bonds are substantially more important than getting something as quickly as possible.

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