April 2021 Letter from the Publisher, Tim Fahndrich.
As we head firmly into Spring of 2021, I had a chance to reflect a little on where we’ve been during the past year.
A year ago, we were all scrambling to understand what the Covid-19 pandemic was and how it might impact our life and livelihood. Our team had already switched to a remote work-from-home scenario, thinking it might last a couple of weeks.
I clearly remember pushing back with one of my team members when she stated that she had heard that Covid-19 might last until June. I was like, “Where did you hear that?” Not quite comprehending how that could even be possible.
Obviously, it has lasted much longer.
As we all know, the impact on our local business community has been difficult, to say the least. That’s probably actually the understatement of year.
I get the opportunity to speak to a lot of small businesses. Yes, it’s true that some local businesses have thrived during the pandemic. As people worked from home and stayed home, versus taking the vacation they had planned, home improvement contractors and related stores have been busy. But, just because they have been busy doesn’t necessarily mean they are making money hand-over-fist. Their cost structures, due to all the new Covid-19 protocols, have gone through the roof. One contractor shared with me that they had their best month ever last month, revenue-wise, but they didn’t make any more money.
On the flip side, scores of small businesses had to close due to shutdowns. Limited hours, massive new protocols, and restricted numbers of customers. It has been brutal. Regrettably, we’ve lost too many small businesses. These lost businesses represent the dreams, hard work, investments (and often life savings), joys, and triumphs of our neighbors, our friends. In turn, these small businesses create more jobs, invest back into your community, and greatly support non-profits that do so much heavy lifting to make your neighborhood a better place.
That’s why “buying local” matters more than ever.
When you spend your money at a local business, as opposed to Amazon or some other online retailer or provider, it benefits your community in so many ways. Local dollars stay within the local economy, and these businesses also tend to buy locally so their profits circulate back into your community’s economy.
I believe small businesses are the backbone of our society, and I believe you do too. I have seen countless examples of people in my community rally around restaurants and small businesses.
To all of you who have championed the cause, I say “Thank you!”
Buying local is one way that we can help our local businesses. Writing a positive online review for good service is another, and being patient when things weren’t perfect, knowing that they are dealing with so many extra challenges, is massively appreciated. Go the extra mile to support, understand, and be a champion.
As we all continue to push through the devastating effects of the pandemic, I hope we can keep up the efforts to transform our buying habits. Our job is not done! Let’s continue to rally around our favorite local businesses and do our best to buy local so they will still be here next year, and the next year, and beyond. From restaurants, to service providers and downtown shops…buying local matters more than ever.
With our growing network of local neighborhoods, places, and neighborhood guides, we like to say “We’re Local & Proud Of It” ™