Very few people can say that they have escaped the financial impact of COVID 19. A recent study revealed that half of Americans witnessed their favorite local business shut down because of the pandemic.
The survey conducted on 2,000 people shows that 68% personally know a business owner affected by the pandemic. According to the study participants, the most affected businesses were gaming shops (55%), retail shops (58%), cafes (62%), and book stores (54%).
People want to see small businesses win.
While most Americans (71%) would like to see small community businesses thrive, more than half (62%) have seen their favorite businesses struggle to pay employees and rent. On average, the participants can name two local businesses turned down by the government when they applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) grant.
OnePoll conducted the study on behalf of Templeton Distillery. It further revealed that the pandemic affected how often 65% of the participants shop locally.
Almost two-thirds of the respondents (63%) said they don’t mind paying more than the retail price for a product if they are getting it from a local business. As a matter of fact., since the pandemic started, 66% of the respondents have become more frequent visitors of local businesses.
However, the pandemic is not the only reason why people are shopping locally. Almost half of the respondents (49%) said they do so because they are convinced that locally made products are of better quality. Other reasons included knowing the employees (45%) and knowing the owner (47%).
Close to 7 in 10 participants (69%) believe that the community would not be the same without local businesses. To help these businesses remain in operation, 48% of the participants said they had donated an average of $92 to their favorite local business.
Role of small businesses in small towns
Keith Kerkhoff, Templeton Distillery co-founder, says that small businesses are the backbone of cities and towns around the country. He adds that with just over 300 people, Templeton, Iowa is one such town that depends on small businesses. The town has been the birthplace of ideas that developed businesses that have lasted over 100 years.