Running a local business is tough, especially when starting out. But during the coronavirus pandemic? Yikes. Many of our Akron neighbors are struggling to stay operating through the end of the year.
According to Business Insider, small businesses employ nearly half of the U.S. workforce. With many of them being forced to temporarily close or limit their hours and foot traffic for safety precautions, they’ve seen a major decrease in sales. The Yelp Economic Impact report estimated that between March and September, more than 163,700 businesses closed forever. And with COVID-19 cases quickly rising yet again, more and more will follow suit. Even with limited government assistance available, small businesses are finding it hard to access and stay afloat.
So what can you do? Be conscious of who you’re buying from and support those closest to you—as in, right down the road or across town. You know that saying, “When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a happy dance?” Can you imagine Akron-area business owners doing happy dances because they know they can pay their bills and employees? You’ll help them keep their dreams alive into the new year.
Remember this: Products from small businesses will most likely cost more than Amazon—and you’ll have to pay shipping. But you’re buying their time, energy and creativity along with the product. You’re also supporting their dreams and helping to establish their brand—instead of throwing more money at billionaires. We can help our own local economy.
You’ll soon find out that there are A LOT of businesses to support in these lists—more than 200 of them. So, here are some ways to support small, even if you can’t shop small:
- Follow their social media accounts and interact with them. Comment, like, share and save posts. It really does help the algorithm prioritize their engaging posts over others—which means more people will see them and hopefully support them.
- Share products you already own and love. Post about them and the products you use. Be sure to tag them so your friends can easily find them.
- Add these small businesses to your wish list. Santa won’t know you want something unless you tell him!
- You can also save these blog posts to come back to the next time you have a birthday gift to buy, a house-warming present to get, or just want a little treat for yourself.
- And, share these blog posts on social media so your friends and family can be inspired to support small this holiday season.
Click on the icons above to check out the gift guides of local businesses, featuring quotes from owners and supporters, as well as Instagram posts of products. These diverse businesses sprinkled throughout Akron and Northeast Ohio have all been selected by the Everyday Akron community. (Since I received an incredible amount of submissions, I’ve split them up in to 5 blog posts.)
If you support any of these local businesses, share on social media and be sure to tag @everydayakron and the business! We all want to see how you’re spreading the holiday cheer.
Happy Holidays, Akron!
Help run Everyday Akron
Send $5 or more via PayPal to help me run Everyday Akron and get a logo sticker! Through the end of December 2020, if you contribute $15 or more, you’ll get a sticker AND a keychain. Your money will go towards things like managing the website that help further the mission of sharing Akronites’ stories.