COVID-19 calls on communities to step up, support businesses


Sania Hasan

Negatively impacted by COVID, many small businesses are relying on support from their local communities to keep their doors open argues Staff Writer Joseph Domolky.

Joseph Domolky, Staff Writer

Would you rather support a large corporation and make one person richer or support a small business and invest in the future of your community? 

Many small businesses throughout the country have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without much aid from the federal government, local businesses are counting on their communities to carry them through. 

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s article, “Small Business Owners Still Feel Pain of Pandemic and Fear More to Come,” only about 40% of all small business owners believe their business can continue to operate indefinitely without having to shut down permanently. It is up to us, as consumers, to help these small, local businesses stay afloat during these challenging and unprecedented times. 

Although the effortlessness of ordering from Amazon or the drive-thru window at McDonald’s is tempting, it might not be in your best interest. Yes, you will probably receive your package within days or your food in less than five minutes, but at what cost? 

While your local businesses are scraping by just to keep their doors open, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is wallowing in hundreds of billions of dollars. In fact, since the pandemic began, Amazon’s stock value has increased by more than 60%. Buying a product from a local business might put food on somebody’s table while buying a product from Amazon will simply add to Bezos’ immense fortune. 

Shopping local is an investment. When you buy something from a large corporation, your money usually goes to an already wealthy person you will never meet and who has likely never heard of our community. However, when you shop local, your money is going right back into our community, helping our neighbors during this difficult time and keeping our favorite stores open.

But it’s not just about money, another reason to shop local is because small businesses often sell products of higher quality. Just think about McDonald’s versus a nearby beloved greasy spoon, like Britney’s or Sunny Side Cafe. McDonald’s might be able to prepare your food by the time you drive to the other side of the building, but this isn’t always worth the price you pay. Of course not literally, because it’s hard to spend more than 15 dollars at McDonald’s, but do you feel good after eating their food? A cafe might take longer to prepare your food and be slightly more expensive, but that’s because they’re making a quality meal that won’t make you regret eating there once you leave.

Have you supported a small business yet?

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Supporting local small businesses is essential to the operation of a community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With growing numbers of small businesses that are struggling, your contribution goes a lot farther than you might think. In fact, many local businesses support each other. For example, Italian cuisine Casta Diva in Northborough receives much of its fresh produce from local farms. So, when you support a local business, you may actually be supporting multiple without knowing. 

If you are unable to physically travel to a local small business, don’t worry. There are many other ways to be supportive. Many businesses have developed alternatives to in-store shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as website ordering and curbside pickup. More businesses than ever are offering delivery, too. Even something as simple as writing a review or posting on social media to promote a business can be helpful.

For just a little extra work, supporting small businesses is so worth the reward of higher quality products and a sense of pride and community.