As of today, Disneyland is closed, the NBA has cancelled the league, my daughter’s school is shutting down for 14 days. There’s a current of absolute panic, and then a countercurrent of “everything is going to be okay” while in the middle are a bunch of people running around stunned inside a grocery store telling other people “good luck, I hope you find what you need” and elbow bumping.
Here’s the truth: This is a small business. And we small business owners are buckling up for something insanely hard. I’ve had more cancellations this week than I’ve ever had in a single quarter in my career (and it’s still only Thursday). I’ve had to use the “Force Majeure” clause of my contract and am trying to network and keep an acceptably positive attitude while constantly figuring out if we have enough food and things to entertain ourselves while we’re indoors with each other for company.
Small businesses are going to need your help like never before.
Follow your favorites on social media. Like, comment and share their posts.
Skip Amazon if possible and shop small. There are local bodegas selling groceries (you’re probably going to find more toilet paper and lysol there than at Target right now), there are also restaurants re-focusing their activity to take-out only in order to stay afloat/alive. Don’t forget your local bookstores and toy stores — with working and living confined comes the need to be entertained.
Use Zoom or Google Hangouts or the good ol’ phone to have your meetings. I bet most of your vendors would be glad to still serve you via the Internet.
Spread love by giving your favorite locally owned business a good online review. Do it on Google where it also will help their SEO.
Listen to podcasts. Subscribe, rate and review them. Especially if they are independent producers.