Shop Local – Now

Earlier this week in Houston:

Republic Country Club closed its doors forever.  All its employees, many of them veterans, are now out of work.

First Crush Tastings, a food and beverage sampling and promotional company, announced it laid off 70% of its employees (they had already shut down contract work through April – this figure does not include the independent contractors.)

These are just two examples in Houston.  There are more throughout the country.

For those of you who have never started a small business, never risked your own money, never sacrificed your time and energy to realize your dream, it’s a struggle.  Every freaking day.  You have rent, payroll, taxes (they don’t stop), insurance, utilities – you have bills to pay.  Bills that are due no matter your sales.  It’s a constant balancing act.  And if you zero out the revenue side of the equation, it won’t take long before your business model is unsustainable.

Most small businesses have a few weeks before that happens.  And once they’re gone, most are not coming back.

Ever.

Now, let’s walk through what happens next.  The business closes and those employees are without a job.  In those industries that are hardest hit that means too few jobs for too many jobless.  So, they have a very tough time finding another job.  And the owners?  By and large, these are not independently wealthy people.  Most small business owners are typically the last ones to get paid and the first ones to forego pay.  They have families they’re supporting.  And just like that, they’re also unemployed.

Even if a small business is able to reopen, most will have lost that revenue forever.  They will not be able to “catch up”.  Restaurants cannot increase seating capacity.  People will not start eating more meals.  Fitness studios cannot suddenly accommodate more people.  Event venues can’t generate more dates.  That money is gone.

If we let this continue, the damage to the economy will be worse than the damage done by any virus.  We can’t let this happen.

So, what can we do?

SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES.  Order carryout or delivery from restaurants.  Buy something extra from your local businesses.  Do what you can to financially support them.  If you can’t afford to support them, promote them.  Recommend them to your friends.  Do something to help.

If you don’t, your favorite places may not be around when the smoke clears.

Tag your favorite small business in the comments. 

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