Buy Local and Support Small Businesses This SummerSubmitted by MidWestOne Investment Services on June 24th, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that Americans shop and travel, impacting our spending habits indefinitely. With stores, hotels, and restaurants trying to recover, many are choosing to purchase locally to help to support local small businesses. The impact of working from home, virtual meetings, and happy hours, online fitness classes, and being at home is that our consumption habits have changed. Unfortunately, this is impacting our small businesses.
People are aware that without local support, their restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and small businesses may close. The idea of supporting ‘mom and pop shops’ has been re-ignited as people re-examine their needs and wants, and realize they want a local economy that supports their friend’s and neighbor’s livelihoods. Consumers are now more aware of where goods produce or ship through. This concern will not change in a post-COVID-19 world, and transparency will continue to be critical for consumers.
In addition to the renewed interest in shopping locally, people are becoming more involved in their communities by donating to organizations that benefit others. The May 2020 online survey conducted by Cause & Social Influence titled, “Influencing Young Americans to Act: Special COVID-19 Research Report,” found that 25% of the total respondents reported buying more local products and services. Overall, respondents additionally reported making cash donations to help local and national non-profits:
· 32% Donated to a food bank.
· 31% Gave to an animal welfare organization.
· 30% Donated to a healthcare reform organization.
· 20% Gave to mental health and social services.
With some Americans choosing to cancel their travel plans over concerns of COVID-19 exposure, and hotel and restaurants permanently closed or limiting capacity, many are supporting businesses closer to home. 2020 was ‘the year of the road trip,’ according to a Skift Survey:
· 40% of Americans say their first post-COVID trip will be by car, within 100 miles of home.
· 26% will go over the 100-mile mark but stick to the U.S. and travel by car.
· 16% will take a flight
· 8% will leave the U.S. for their vacation
2021 may shape up to be a similar year with many choosing to get out and explore what their community’s small businesses offer. You may be pleasantly surprised and discover that shopping locally provides you with everything you need (and want).
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