The holiday season is going to look a lot different this year. The way we gather, the way we worship and the way we shop will all be shaped by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. What shouldn’t change, though, is our support for our community’s small businesses.
Whether that particular small business is a family-owned and operated, one location operation or a national chain owned by a local franchisee, they’re a critical part of our local economy and deserve our support. And they deserve our support for a lot of reasons, but most notably because our small businesses reinvest in the community.
For example, small businesses are…
- Leasing existing spaces or building new facilities which puts all types of other small businesses, like contractors, to work.
- Employing people from all across our community who they’re paying wages to which in turn can be used to support other small businesses.
- Paying taxes to our cities, counties, school and park systems which are also reinvested in the community through the construction of new parks, schools and roads.
- Supporting various nonprofit organizations whether it’s through a capital campaign to construct a new facility or someone’s softball team.
Our support this holiday season is also important because this time of the year is often the busiest time of the year for small businesses and the time when they may generate a significant amount of their annual revenue.
Plus, all local businesses are going to face the added challenge of social distancing this year where shoppers may be reluctant to enter a physical location. If that’s the case, then check out their website or their social media presence because our small businesses are incredibly creative. They’ve adapted to our current situation with practices like interactive or virtual shopping experiences, curbside pickup and more.
While the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business varies by industry, 75% of Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC members have less than 40 employees. That means that the vast majority of our membership is comprised of small businesses and we’re going to do all that we can to promote their success this holiday season.
So I invite you to join us here at the Chamber EDC and "Shop Local" because it’s more important now than ever before.
Brian Ritter is president of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC.
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