Latest COVID closures could decimate local merchants, leave thousands jobless
OLYMPIA, Wash., Nov. 24, 2020—Launched more than a decade ago to help our nation’s Main Street merchants rebound from the Great Recession, Small Business Saturday may once again be the lifeline that helps save your favorite local restaurant, retailer, or entertainment venue – if you take part this Saturday, November 28.
While the surge in positive COVID-19 test results has been widely reported, as has Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest lockdown order, less attention has been paid to data showing 60 percent of small business closures have become permanent. That is a death rate we simply cannot afford to ignore.
“Thanks to eight months, and counting, of new and changing restrictions and requirements on businesses and their customers, it’s no wonder many Washingtonians have given up on going out,” said NFIB Washington State Director Patrick Connor.
“It seems safer and certainly less of a hassle to make purchases with a few mouse clicks or taps on a smartphone, or head to a big box store for a one-stop shopping trip for everything from groceries to holiday gifts. That may make life easier for consumers, but it also makes it near impossible for many small, local merchants to keep their doors open.”
To help save Main Street, and the jobs of many of the 1.4 million workers the state’s small businesses employ, NFIB, the nation’s leading small-business advocacy organization, suggests consumers take a few simple steps to shop locally:
- Check to see if local small businesses are open to in-person shopping, and pay them a visit if you feel comfortable (following applicable safety requirements, of course)
- Call your favorite local merchants to place an order for curbside pickup or delivery
- See if local small businesses are selling online by visiting their social media pages or websites
- Buy gift cards/certificates from local small businesses for yourself or as gifts to others
- Order takeout or delivery from local restaurants, either directly or through your favorite mobile app
Last year, Small Business Saturday eclipsed Black Friday and Cyber Monday in sales. While that is less likely to happen this year, making a special effort to support local merchants may be what keeps them in business this holiday season and into the New Year.
Begun by American Express in 2010 to spur small businesses out of the recession, the annual Small Business Saturday event has been a great financial boon for Main Street enterprises. According to the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from American Express and NFIB and figures from Adobe Analytics, Small Business Saturday outperformed both Black Friday ($5.4 billion) and Cyber Monday ($9.2 billion).
Keep up with the latest Washington state small-business news at www.nfib.com/washington or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_WA or on Facebook @NFIB.WA
For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
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