During these strange times, we must protect ourselves from ourselves. Being the social creatures that we are, this concept of social distancing seems more foreign than bat stew! Yet, it is the harsh reality we are currently faced with. Socially distancing ourselves to dead the spread of this global pandemic known as coronavirus. Of course, it is our civic duty to keep those most at risk, safe.
In order to do so, we must cancel life as we know it! First, we were told no gatherings of large crowds. SXSW; canceled. Denver’s 420 festival; canceled. The NBA, NHL, and NCAA March Madness tournament; canceled! Things already weren't looking good!
Then they got a whole lot worse. Gatherings of 250 people or more; canceled. Gatherings of 50 people or more; canceled. Then President Trump recommended no gatherings of 10 people or more. Restaurants and bars were ordered to take-out only for 8 weeks, Colorado’s ski resorts ceased operations and Las Vegas... Never thought we’d see the day that Las Vegas closed.
Ok, we just went from unprecedented to weird and strange real quick! So, this is definitely a risk to our health! Best to air on the side of extreme caution, but what about our wealth? Well, health is our most vital component of wealth, so we have to protect it! But at what cost? What will this mean for our small business communities and the US economy?
If the small business sector isn’t healthy, the US economy will lose a vital artery of wealth! We all know what happens to a house of cards... Exactly what the government will do for its vitality in this time of confusion remains unknown. However, we do know for certain some of the economic impacts imposed by the coronavirus; And it’s probably just the beginning.
For starters, the restaurant and bar industry just laid off an unprecedented number of employees overnight. This is a group of hard-working Americans that rely on low restaurant wages and tip money. The vast majority of whom survive paycheck to paycheck. No paycheck for 2 months? Alright then, guess unemployment services will just have to get bottlenecked. What about small business owners who leverage their hard work and time into their respective businesses? Most have borrowed money here and there to scale. A great deal of them exist to nurture the ecosystems of food and beverage, local services, retail, and events and gatherings.
While consumers quarantine themselves inside their homes, what are small business owners' options for survival? Layoffs? Defaults on loans? Declare bankruptcy? Back to the ‘it’s probably just the beginning’ part. With so many people getting laid off, it’s time to save, save, save! Sure, things will open once again and people will gather. But if a majority of them have been in a downturn, or out of work altogether for the past 8 weeks, how are they supposed to spend money?
Thus the heartbreaking dilemma that the small business community faces. If the quarantine period lasts 8 weeks, how long will the economic impact last? What can we do to soften the blow?
As a small business in the merchandising and retail space, we at B Fresh Gear are certainly feeling the sting of COVID-19. Yet, we remain grateful. The best thing any small business owner can do to soften the blow; Stay positive! Positivity a potent tool! Now that you have the right mindset, it’s time to perform a SWOT analysis of your business in this current state of affairs. What strengths and opportunities can you put some focus on? What weaknesses can you improve? (If you’re like us, you have a golden opportunity to increase your marketing and content creation efforts.) Threats? Yea, those are lurking around every corner for small business owners. Nobody could’ve predicted COVID-19, but we can and should be continually preparing and planning for a recession!
If you’ve waited until disaster to do so, godspeed! From here on, include this in your quarterly evaluation. What makes you recession-proof? Having a plan for recession proofing your business will exponentially increase your chances for survival and it looks different for every business. Depending on your industry and consumer ecosystem, cash flow reserves may be your best bet (easier said than done, we know)!
However, we do encourage you to figure out a viable revenue stream for your business while amidst a recession. It’s the smart thing to do! As B’s grandmother told him this past weekend, if you’re blessed enough to have longevity with your career, you’re going to go through some shit! So, yea, recession sucks! But let’s suck it up and support each other as best we can! Besides the aforementioned, supporting your small business community is a vital piece to local economic recovery.
How can we support each other during these times? If you’ve got the means, shop small as often as you can right now! It might keep your favorite businesses lights on for the next few months. If disposable income isn’t viable at this time, how can you connect with your local makers and creators in a cost-effective, or even free way?
Here are some ideas: Cross promotional marketing! Back-linking websites! Contests and giveaways! Sharing customer databases for those consumers who opt-in! Connecting dots within your local community! We’ll be undertaking all of these methods in the coming weeks. Let’s start right now! Below is a list of small businesses in our community that we want to support. By back-linking their web links, we hope to drive some of our traffic to them and vice versa:
Offering a variety of gluten-free options from granola and mixes to cookies and marshmallows. Shipping nationwide.
Handcrafted clothing for the adventurer at heart. Our shirts are designed and hand printed right in our flagship store in Fort Collins, Colorado and we make the majority of our beanies by hand.
Outdoor Inspired lifestyle apparel fit for any adventure. Designed in Loveland, CO, printed in Denver, CO. For whatever path you seek, we aim to motivate people to find their passion and pursue it!
At Spectra we aim to support artists and provide a space that cultivates creativity through fun and accessible contemporary art exhibitions, events, and detailed immersive experiences. We are owned and operated by 3 young women, who have a clear vision and love for the creative community.
The fashion industry in Colorado is continuing to grow and we couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it! Fashion Denver was established in 2004 as a way to connect our local designers, boutiques, and stylists to fashion lovers in Colorado. Through the production of our fashion markets, fashion events, fashion camps, and business development, our passion continues to grow as we see more and more designers and boutiques shining in Denver.