Smells Like Community Spirit: 1/2 of Hollywood residents say they will support local rather than larger retailers once lockdown is over, reveals survey
As millions of people stay home, avoiding unnecessary shopping trips to flatten the curve, it’s no secret that small businesses across Florida are feeling the devastating economic effect of lockdown.
In fact, with such a sudden disruption to cash flow, a large number of small business owners say they don’t think they could continue operating for longer than three months in the current conditions caused by the pandemic*.
Now, more than ever, local businesses need community support in order to remain afloat and it seems Floridians are the perfect example.
Florida car dealership, Gunther Volkswagen, conducted a study of 1,000 residents across The Sunshine State to find out how they will be supporting local businesses through the current crisis.
The survey discovered that encouragingly, over half of (58%) Hollywood residents say they will be consciously shopping at smaller, local stores as opposed to larger retailers and franchises once lockdown is over.
When people buy local, a greater proportion of that money stays in the local community. A study by the American Independent Business Alliance found that that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the local community, compared to only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.
Moreover, local businesses will more often that not have an incentive to do business with other local companies. Large retailers on the other hand, tend to source their supplies from out-of-town.
While lockdown has caused an undeniable disruption to the daily routines of a majority of Americans, it seems many are seeing the silver living of spending more time at home.
Nearly half (45%) of respondents say being able to enjoy quality time with their family or partner is the best thing to come out of lockdown.
This was followed by an increase in community spirit (35%), which emerged at the perfect time to help support small businesses in need. A decrease in pollution (9%) is another positive aspect respondents appreciate, followed by more time to conduct home improvements (6%), more hours of sleep (3%) and learning new hobbies/skills (2%).
Gunther Volkswagen has invested in a number of community organisations throughout lockdown in order to aid in combating the negative repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis. These include HOPE South Florida and their provisions of crisis housing, mobile showers, meals, clothing and employment, as well as 4KIDS, providing a place of safety and refuge for children and young adults.
Due to charitable events, gatherings and fundraisers being cancelled during this time, non-profit humanitarian organisations are also feeling the financial strain from lockdown restrictions.
Opting to visit local stores after isolation regulations have eased is one way to help rebuild the economy in your community. Additionally, there are a few other ways you can assist while businesses are forced to remain closed or shorten their trading hours – Gunther Volkswagen has provided suggestions of how you can get involved:
- Donate meals to local hospitals and first responders. These are essential workers helping the community on the frontlines. As a heart-warming gesture, you could donate to organisations that deliver meals to hospitals and non-profit foundations in your area.
- Buy a gift card or voucher from a local company. Many small businesses are relying on these to keep rental and staff salaries afloat while there is no cash flow. If you have a loved one with a birthday during this time, a voucher is the perfect gift during financially stressful times.
- Order food deliveries from small, local restaurants. Instead of ordering food from larger franchises, check out local offerings to see what’s available in your area.
- Place online grocery orders through nearby local stores, rather than large retailers. If you order groceries online, try doing a Google search to find out which shops offer delivery. Plus, delivery charges are likely to be cheaper if the store is closer to your home.
‘The importance of community has never been greater in The Sunshine State, in order to help alleviate the economic stress on small businesses caused by lockdown restrictions. Floridians choosing to shop local over larger retailers means an increase in local revenue and support where we need it the most.’JOE GUNTHER, GENERAL MANAGER FOR GUNTHER VOLKSWAGEN