I’ve always believed in supporting small, family-owned businesses and now is arguably a time where it’s even more important that those types of businesses get support.
The community I live in is composed almost entirely of family-owned businesses. The restaurants, clothing stores and personal services have the face of the family that runs it with their dedicated employees. Being in a small tight-knit area where everybody knows everybody is difficult because at this uncertain time everybody knows someone that has either lost their job or is struggling to keep their business alive. It’s heartbreaking to know so many individuals who are struggling and that’s why my family and I are trying our best to support our local businesses.
Many businesses have adapted to work with what they have and are able to do with restrictions. Restaurants are offering takeout, retail stores were able to shift to online sales before they were allowed to open again and services encouraged gift certificate purchases if they couldn’t operate within the guidelines set forth by the local government. They are offering what they can in hopes that the community can continue to support them so they are operational when the time allows them to get back to 100% operational.
For my family, some of our favorite restaurants are still open and offering take-out so we have tried to spread the wealth and ordered from a few different ones over the past two months. Others that aren’t open we hope to frequent when they are. We’ve purchased what we can from local retail stores that are open after being closed down due to Colorado executive orders instead of ordering online. We even were able to move up some work we had planned to have done on the outside of our house to help a carpenter friend whose wife isn’t able to work. But it’s not just our locals that feed our small community economy.
In our county, like many others in Colorado, several businesses don’t just rely on local support, but the support from visitors. Our economy is maintained and boosted by the tourists that frequent our area in both the winter and summer. Some businesses chose to close during the slower months simply because they do not generate enough revenue to justify being open. Usually this time is now, in the spring after the snow has melted and in the fall when the weather isn’t warm but the snow hasn’t stuck to the ground. Generally those businesses close for a month at most. As of today, it’s been almost two months for not just those business but others as well that have been forced to close.
For me personally, I know too many people that work for or own businesses that are a part of that list of temporary closures. Thankfully, with openings beginning in Colorado, some of those establishments are ready to open and welcome back their devoted customers. It’s when these places open that the community has to take action. We have to support those that are a vital part of our community.
Re-opening might not be an easy task for some businesses. It could bring a whole different challenge for some. Employees that were laid off might not be able to return. Some have had to move from the area or start a new job leaving owners short-staffed and wondering how they will conduct business like normal. It’s a challenge that many will have to face and I hope that they have the support to rebuild.
I’m lucky to have a job that was able to keep me working from the start of all this but I have always had a soft spot for a small family-run outdoor store that I have worked for off and on for five years. The family that owns the store have become a second family to me and I was worried when they were forced to close. They’re working on an addition to the building and I know it’s a large project that is taking a lot of time and energy that has been delayed. Thankfully, they have a great local group of faithful customers that are happy to make purchases regularly. Plus, they always look out and genuinely care for their staff which keeps team members happy and ready to work.
With Memorial Day weekend already here we know there will be a surge of tourists looking to escape to the mountains. I hope that the surge helps local businesses, but I also hope that those coming to our community take precautions and understand we want to keep everyone who calls this place home safe and healthy.
If you have an opportunity to support your locally-owned businesses I know they’ll greatly appreciate it. Here are five ways you can support a local family owned business:
- Make a purchase.
- Plan services for the future.
- Buy a gift card/certificate to gift or use later.
- Write a positive review online.
- Follow the business’s social media accounts.
It’s a challenging time no matter where you live or what you do for a living. I hope that everyone is staying safe and being cautious and keeping the well-being of everyone in mind.