How to support small businesses while shopping safely

FORT SMITH, Ark – The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us. Our inboxes are brimming with deals from businesses vying for our dollars. While there’s no indication that the pandemic will stop the Black Friday Cyber Monday surge, the way we shop has changed forever.

An increase in online shopping and adoption of alternative delivery methods are the most obvious trends. But what the pandemic has also uncovered—call it a silver lining—is an increased sense of community. We are all in this together. And our communities rely on the small businesses at the heart of them.

Small business owners have been hit especially hard by the measures and government mandates set to keep people safe. Many have been forced to close their doors. According to one report, during the first three months of the pandemic’s surge in the US, small business revenues were down 40% overall, and 40% of small businesses closed. Some may not reopen. Others have made clever pivots to service their customers without human contact.

We have choices right now.

We, as a global community, can secure the futures of those resilient small businesses and help them shine. This BFCM, consider diverting your dollars from big-box stores to local businesses—you may even discover a new favorite destination for buying gifts.

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