Many of our customers are owners or employees of small businesses (check out our video with Ken from Skyro Floors on May 8) and they’re an integral part of the economy which is why for more than 50 years America has been celebrating National Small Business Week. The Small Business Administration (SBA) typically kicks off the annual event in honor of entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country the first week of May. This year it’s been postponed until further notice due to... you guessed it, Coronavirus, but we think because of COVID-19 it's more critical than ever to talk about the importance of small business
With more than 30.7 million small businesses, accounting for 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses, according to the SBA’s 2019 profile, they’re a pretty big deal. As a small workwear brand we understand how complex it can be when you have to wear many hats. Which is why we want to give our small business owners and their supporters time to gear up for this important week, whenever it may end up being.
Why should you support small businesses?
Supporting small businesses -- whether it’s eating at your favorite mom-and-pop restaurant or calling your neighbor’s contracting company when you need a project tackled -- keeps money in your community through local sales tax to support important initiatives related to education, police and fire departments, parks and other publicly funded programs. According to American Express, approximately two-thirds of every dollar spent at a small business stays within the community.
Small businesses don’t just enhance your local surroundings. Fundera credits them for more than 1.5 million new jobs created annually. Each small business comes with its own set of opportunities for employment, financial growth and innovation which improve the economy as a whole.
Choosing a small business comes with more than fiscal benefits. Small businesses help form the character of your community, inspire the future and create a sense of togetherness and belonging. They make home feel like home.
It takes guts to start a business and even more grit to beat the odds of failing. In the construction industry alone, only about 35 percent of small businesses make it through their 5th year. With COVID-19 still out there, it can be even more difficult right now, even when your service and customer experience is second-to-none. If you are struggling to navigate the pandemic, we put together some helpful resources to consider from loan programs to offering virtual estimates.
Plus, the products or services you might be receiving are unlike any others because there’s no middleman and they represent the imagination, passion and dedication of the owner. When you’re supporting a small business, you’re supporting someone’s dream.
How to support small businesses
As the COVID-19 pandemic has halted the ability to show support for small businesses in some of the more conventional ways, there’s been an outpouring of ideas for how you can help during this trying time. Here are some of our favorites:
- Spread the word to create new customers for the business when the stay-at-home orders are lifted by leaving a positive review about an experience you had with the business, following them on social media and even, giving them shout outs on your own social media
- Many businesses are at-risk for not being able to open their doors after this is all over. Prepaying for future services or purchases helps them recover now, instead of going under later.
- Take advantage of online shopping, but do so graciously and patiently. Businesses are navigating through this just like the rest of us, so their typical processes might be different than you’re used to.
- If you don’t want to dip into your wallet because of your own struggles right now, letting businesses know that your thoughts are with them reminds them why they do what they do and the gesture means a lot.
The doors of our small businesses will reopen - eventually - and though our society may function a little differently, we can all continue showing support however we can.
The most obvious and self-explanatory is simply buying local goods or services. Then, if they left a good impression, talk about it. Don’t stop leaving positive reviews and telling your friends about your favorite businesses just because COVID-19 has passed. According to invesp, people are 90 percent more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend. The more you talk about a business, the more you’re helping.
If you’re involved in a community organization, look at how you can work with small businesses in innovative ways. Maybe they’re logo is on your child’s little league team’s uniforms or perhaps the business makes a guest appearance at an event.
Reflect on where you might have room to spend with local businesses. Maybe you’re ready to turn your yard over to the landscaping company owned by the kid you watched grow up.
There are so many thoughtful consumer habits to practice that will shift support on to small businesses. Ask yourself (and your neighbors) questions about the companies, brands and places they support. You might even be supporting a small business already without realizing it.
Celebrating Small Business Week as a Small Business
Don’t let Small Business Week (whenever it ends up being) pass your small business by without taking some time to celebrate. It’s a great time to be a small business owner.
We’ve rounded up a couple of other ideas to celebrate too:
- Host an event to highlight that your small business is a leader within the community and industry. Help other small businesses learn from you, meet new people and create a network you can lean on. It might even generate some local buzz.
- Recognize the people that make it possible - your employees. Plan a company outing or surprise them with a gift- we shamelessly think that could be some workwear for your crew.
- Say thank you to your customers, too. You can send emails or even showcase customer spotlight stories on your blog or promote them via social media
- Look into launching a loyalty program - we recently launched ours!
- Invest in new tools (like a pair of durable T2 work pants) or technology that help you perform at a higher level.
- Do you subcontract through a general contractor or another trade business? Now might be the perfect time to work jointly on pricing and sharing leads.
- Take this time to build brand recognition. Maybe that means setting up a new social media page or blog, if you don’t already have one. Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to revamp your logo.
If you’re interested in starting your own business or looking to grow your existing business, your local Small Business Development Center offers year-round free (or low-cost) business advice and training. Score is another great resource for online workshops and mentorships.
Truewerk is here to support you beyond quality workwear and we want to do whatever we can to help you feel protected, promoted and empowered. If you have a small business resource that we didn’t share or an idea for our next blog post, let us know in the comments. Show us how you’re celebrating Small Business Week in 2020 on social media by tagging us on Instagram @Truewerk too!