The pandemic is causing a tremendous and unprecedented strain on local small businesses and many won’t survive. Some reopened and were recovering and now must close again or limit customers as coronavirus numbers soar!
Houston representatives of Our Town America launched the ‘Save Our Town’ movement to urge people to find creative ways to help small businesses in our community.
“It’s slow you know,” said Omar Ramirez, a local restaurant owner. “We knew it would be like this. But maybe not this bad, you know?”
“We all have a role to play in saving our local businesses,” said Michael Plummer, Our Town America CEO. “ We can change our habits. Shop Local when you can instead of buying from Amazon.”
Since the pandemic started thousands of restaurants, many of them local, have shut their doors permanently across the United States.
- 23,981 Restaurants are out of business
- 27,663 Retail Stores are closed forever
- 15,384 Salons and spas are permanently closed
- 5,589 Fitness Centers and gyms will never open again
Tips to help ‘Save Our Town’ in Houston
- Consider paying for your gym membership even if it remains closed. Roughly 28% of all gym-goers are expected to cancel their memberships this year. Some gyms have already filed for bankruptcy!
- Buy a gift card or start a tab! You can give local restaurants more money now by buying gift cards you can use later when the restaurant is more stable. Or you can pay $100 up front for future purchases and ask the restaurant to withdraw from your tab when you eat there.
- Holiday shop now! Some local shops may not make it to the holiday rush. Buy your gifts now and give them a boost!
- Tip well many servers, baristas and delivery people have been out of work at some point this year. If you can afford it, leave a big tip and make someone’s day!
- Schedule and pay for future services. Some salons and massage parlors will allow you to pay for services in advance. You could pay for haircuts for the rest of the year now and have the salon withdraw from your account as you go.
- Leave a positive review online. Many people are looking for safe places to eat and shop right now. Leave a positive review of your favorite restaurants and local shops to tell your community how they’re keeping customers safe and healthy during the pandemic. Also mention when a restaurant has outdoor seating.
- Redeem gift certificates at LOCAL businesses If you’re a new mover who recently received your Our Town America Welcome Package, be sure to redeem your New Mover Gift Certificates from your local businesses. The businesses included in Our Town America Welcome Packages reach out to new movers with their free offers each month because they want to welcome residents, like yourself, to your new neighborhood! So be sure to return the favor by patronizing these businesses – whether in-store, curbside or delivery.
Numbers behind the ‘Save Our Town’ Movement:
- For every dollar spent at a small business, approximately 67 cents stays in the local community!
- Franchises are typically locally owned and employ roughly 8 million people nationwide.
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