Mask up. Shop local.

Heidi L. EverettEditorial, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. JosephLeave a Comment

In the midst of a recession in 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday® on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. A year later, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in support of the day.

Here we are again, just days away from the holiday triumvirate that has so often been a savior or a boon to the business bottom line: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

And, here we are again: we’re hurting.

Measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, while absolutely necessary, have been projected to spur the worst economic contraction and unemployment since the Great Depression and the last crisis. Small businesses are feeling it.

According to the Brookings Institution, small business revenue is down 20 percent since January, with severe hits to leisure and hospitality, education, health services, retail and transportation. Many of these sectors have employees who cannot work remotely or businesses that are not deemed essential to be open. Moreover, small businesses saw significant declines in employment, exacerbating local economies. A recent report by Yelp shows nearly 100,000 businesses that were temporarily closed during the pandemic have permanently shut down.

This year, Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28. If you are in need of trade services, reach out to our local small businesses for an estimate. Order and pick up food or a beverage from a local establishment. Buy flowers to brighten someone’s day. Seek out arts and crafts for unique holiday gifts. Put a mask on and visit a local store.

For every dollar spent at a small business, approximately 67 cents stays local based on data reported in the 2018 Small Business Economic Impact Study.

Shop small. Shop safe.

We’re in this together. We’ll get out of it together.

Author: Heidi L. Everett

Heidi joined The Newsleaders Oct. 30, 2020 after being a fan of the St. Joseph edition for 15 years. When she is not sharing local news and stories, she is a professor of strategic communications at St. Cloud State University.

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