In these are uncertain times, governments are halting international travel, ordering people to stay home, and shuttering non-essential businesses. These measures are designed to slow the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19 and keep people safe. For many, including service industry staff and healthcare workers, the impact of these measures can be devastating. The same is true for small businesses and social driven businesses. Many have been forced to close their doors. Some may not reopen. Beyond their size, small businesses are defined by their spirit and tenacity. And at the helm are their intrepid founders—scrappy, ambitious, and resilient. They invent and build things despite uncertainty, because it’s what drives them. Their risks lead to innovation that moves the world forward. And we need them. Small businesses are important to the economic and social fabric of our society, and we all play a part in their survival.
Competition from chain stores, skyrocketing retail leases, and struggles to secure funding or manage cash flow all contribute to well-known small-business failure rates. But small businesses are important to the economic and social fabric of our society, and we all play a part in their survival.
The spread of the global pandemic has undoubtedly affected the economy. We cannot stop this, but we can make a choice with our dollars to help local economies stay afloat and give small businesses a fighting chance to rebound when we emerge from our homes. As well as the support for small businesses, it inspires and fosters entrepreneurship which inspires and facilitates more entrepreneurship.
In terms of local businesses, the impact is even more obvious. When you shop local, your dollars stay in the community and help local development. This is called the multiplier effect. For example, a restaurant buying ingredients from local producers uses a local insurance broker and hires a local design firm, building symbiotic relationships that help the whole business community prosper. So to, when buying products from a social impact company, your dollars spent are amplified for so much more than the gift you bought.
Social impact small businesses, especially in the case of retail stores, are often major contributors to the heart of a community. The stores becomes a hub of activity, where stores, business associations, and local government work collectively to create and preserve the character of their town or neighbourhoods.
A deliberate focus on supporting local social business helps drive up the appeal of the local market, helping the economy and providing jobs. The effect has a huge positive impact on the larger community, economy and social wellbeing.