Staff editorial: Why we should support local businesses

COVID-19 has a caused many local businesses to suffer financially, so the community should continue lending support

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By Tatum Elliott

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many local small businesses have had to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of restrictions and closures that has wreaked havoc on business operations, so the JagWire staff believes community support is crucial.

Tanner Smith and Madelyn Welch

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses, especially small restaurants, have had to adapt to a changing landscape of restrictions and closures that has wreaked havoc on business operations. In fact, according to a survey by the US Chamber of Commerce, 70% of small businesses are worried about financial hardship due to the prolonged closures and 58% worry about having to permanently close. 

Despite the same survey reporting that 86% of businesses have either fully or partially opened, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown massive uncertainty toward the future of many of these businesses. Even now, as numbers continue to skyrocket, many restaurants have to deal with the potential for further interruptions. That is why it is vital to support small, locally-owned restaurants, during COVID-19 and beyond, making sure that these businesses continue to have the customers they need to succeed.

It is vital to support small, locally-owned restaurants, during COVID-19 and beyond, making sure that these businesses continue to have the customers they need to succeed.”

While helping small businesses is always important, the effects go well beyond a single business. In fact, it is hard to overstate the effect of small business on the broader economy. According to an article by the Harvard Business Review, 48% of jobs and 43.5% of the total GDP is directly tied to small business. Even though they make up such a large part of the economy, the same article observes that small businesses are “often financially fragile, with little cash on hand or resources to buffer even a minor financial shock” so a major disruption like COVID-19, makes it difficult for a business to survive.

In addition to the impact on the economy as a whole, businesses here in Shawnee are feeling the impact of COVID-19. Businesses such as McLain’s Bakery, Old Shawnee Pizza, Hayward’s BBQ, and so many others have had to adapt to all of the new changes that COVID-19 has brought. Even restaurants like Blue Koi, which is owned by the family of sophomore Sophia Chang, have had to modify their practices. With changes such as requiring masks, updating sanitisation procedures, or even having to switch to carryout only, the struggle for many of these businesses has been great.

Whether it is ordering from local businesses on platforms such as DoorDash, buying gift cards for later use or going back to these restaurants in a safe and responsible way, making an effort to support local businesses is vital. 

 

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