Small business is a leap of faith. It’s taking your life in your hands and working hard to make your vision a reality. Small business owners are the front line fighting for the American Dream.
As we face record unemployment and the real economic crater resulting from our failed COVID-19 response, the critical nature of small business has been exposed. The efficiency of big-box retailers left us with empty shelves within 24 hours of a national emergency. How were we this fragile? Suddenly, local suppliers mattered. Instead of fighting for a sliver of the market, we were the only ones in town.
At my store, we took our stock of toilet paper and made it available to our customers. We knew it was a time of great pain, and being community members, we gave as much help as possible. My story is not unique.
In fact, it’s a common story. Family businesses showed up for our communities. Restaurants giving away free meals and selling supplies that the big chain stores couldn’t keep in stock. We suddenly noticed that the person behind the counter is working to keep their family housed and fed on the same block as you.
We need to save our small businesses in this crisis, but absolving liability isn’t the way. That’s what big corporations are looking for. They don’t look into your eyes and ask “How can I help you?”
We need loans, and knowing the work ethic of entrepreneurs, those dollars will be repaid many folds. We’ve seen how investment brings prosperity into communities. In this time of crisis, we need people on the ground calling the shots. Politics, as usual, won’t cut it.