What a crazy year this has been. We are all familiar with what’s been happening in the world on a national level, but things might look a little different in your town. Enradius’s mission is to help communities and spread the word about the great things businesses have to offer. Covid-19 has hit local businesses the hardest and many are struggling to stay open. According to the World Economic Forum, nearly 30% of The Baltimore’s Metro’s small businesses have had to close. We spoke with Dave Carberry, our CEO about the importance of shopping local.
Q: This year has been such a tough one for all businesses, but especially small business. Why is it so important to continue to support local businesses?
A: Supporting local businesses means so much to the local economy. 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community, and that same dollar spent also creates another 50 cents of local economic impact. Local businesses hire local employees, consult local accountants and attorneys, and pay local suppliers. By shopping local, you’re really helping your community. It’s tempting to shop Amazon and find great deals there, but I encourage you to look for great deals locally.
Q: You mention shopping Amazon. With its convenience and online format, how can local businesses compete?
A: Local businesses are working to ensure that holiday shopping stays safe, whether they’re newly implementing online shopping or curbside pickup, or limiting the numbers of shoppers in stores. If you’re not ready to go into local businesses just yet, you can buy local gift cards for your family. Gift cards from local shops have a more personalized touch than ones from big box stores. And they also are a great way to help local businesses keep going during these lean times.
Q: What are some ways that you are helping local businesses?
A: Over the summer, we launched Maryland Is Open (MarylandIsOpen.com) to help local businesses across the state announce their openings, updated safety procedures, and new hours following the shutdown. Businesses can get a free listing on the site, and consumers can find what is open near them. We also have started a podcast, where we talk to Maryland business owners and their response to the pandemic.
Q: What advice do you have for local business owners?
A: Don’t wait for things to happen around you. Now that election ads are no longer running, there is more advertising space available for you to promote yourself in your community. It’s possible to advertise right around your neighborhood with precise geotargeting technology. Make sure that your online presence is an accurate representation of your business. Also check your listings on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. Update your hours, correct your address, and make it easy for people to find you.
Q: Any final thoughts for the 2020 Holiday Season?
A: The countdown to the holidays is a short one and it’s been a rough year. We encourage you to promote, promote, promote as much as you can in the next several weeks. Let’s finish 2020 on a good note and support each other and our local businesses.
If you’d like to nominate a local business to be featured on the Maryland Is Open podcast, please send us an email at MarylandIsOpen@enradius.com.