Usually, I focus my energies on writing about restaurants. But this month, I asked to take a different twist on my normal “Rosey’s Review” column. We’ve all been concerned about the health of our communities, as we should be! This is a brand-new virus that has wreaked havoc on the world! But like many, I’ve also been deeply concerned about the impact COVID-19 has had on local businesses.
As we continue to progress in the various phases of re-opening, it’s critically important to continue to support those local businesses that make our community thrive. Consider the following stats from the Small Business Administration: small business applications plummeted by 27% in the weeks following March 13, 2020. Why does that matter? Because that means that many would-be businesses did not open. And because of that – new jobs were not created.
So what about the businesses that were in operation pre-COVID-19? Many have not survived the shutdown and will not re-open, but small business employment dropped by 15.7% as well. That s approximately 19.6 million jobs that were cut by small businesses who could not afford to retain staff during the shutdown.
The reason all of this matters is because small businesses are the heartbeat of America! In 2016, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council reported that of the 5.6 million employer firms in the country, 99.7% of those were considered small businesses (500 or fewer employees)… And lest you think that’s not such a small business – 98.2% of those businesses had 100 or fewer employees! Those with less than 20 employees made up 89%. So the impact of small businesses cannot be underrated.
Moreover, money spent in small businesses stays in the community. For every $1 spent at a locally owned restaurant, salon, boutique, or other business, 68% stays in the local economy. That kind of impact supports everything from jobs to schools to real estate and everything in between! It’s huge! Especially when you consider that small businesses, on average, donate 250% more to non-profits and community causes.
Every year in November, small businesses around the country participate in Small Business Saturday. I’m urging everyone who reads this to get a jump start on it. Now. In July. Let the small businesses in our community know we support them.
Y’all, if you read Rosey’s Review regularly, you know that I have a tremendous love for our local flavors. But that extends beyond the amazing restaurants we have in the community. I love small businesses. We have some really incredible talent and passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners who live in Forsyth County, many of whom are advertising partners of Forsyth Magazines – another small business that is included in this whole plea for supporting local!
Order take out. Schedule an appointment. Get a gift certificate. Share their social media posts. Don’t stop showing your support. This isn’t over, and recovery won’t happen overnight. But you can be a part of the solution that starts today.