For those observing the calendar, 2020 is coming to an end. For most of us, this year of pandemic and hurricanes cannot end quickly enough.
Business owners – from small to large corporations – have had to adapt in ways unimaginable. COVID-19 alone has shown us that adjustment and brain power are needed to survive. The storms which blew through our local have forced both customers and business owners to rethink how goods and services are going to be provided today and those changes could remain into the future.
Yet, one aspect of business that will never change is the necessity to support local enterprises.
National Small Business Saturday will be held November 28, 2020.
According to an Alliance/Chamber SWLA press release “Once again, the Chamber SWLA is putting together a directory of businesses that are open, offering deals, etc.”
The directory will be on the Alliance/Chamber SWLA website (www.allianceswla.org) and Facebook.
Amanda White, the agency’s Vice President of Communications, said this guide will help customers.
“Think of the Small Business Saturday guide as a means to map out your shopping weekend while also supporting the businesses in our region that have been able to reopen. Many businesses and restaurants are still struggling to reopen, so let’s be here for them now and in the future,” White said.
“Our local businesses are the ones that support our little league teams, our charities, and local events. We are a community that has been supporting and helping each other through all of the setbacks 2020 has thrown at us. We won’t stop once the debris is removed. Our strength is our continuing commitment to help others.”
Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010.
The company states, “Small Business Saturday is an important part of the holiday season for small merchants as they work to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, an estimated 110 million people participated in Small Business Saturday, and sales hit a record high with an estimated $19.6 billion in reported spending.”
American Express’ Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Rutledge stated, “Small Business Saturday is an important part of our global Shop Small campaign, and small businesses need our support more than ever as they continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19. We know 88 percent of U.S. consumers feel a personal commitment to support small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Whether online, curbside or safely in store, we’re reminding consumers that they can help make an impact by shopping small and sharing their favorite small business on social media all holiday season long.”
Along with promoting business activity, area agencies are also providing expertise to owners who are struggling.
For those business owners who are trying to manage hurricane recovery and COVID-19 impacts, the SEED Center, located at 4310 Ryan St., is where assistance can be found. The Small Business Administration has increased the number of counselors to meet with the ongoing demand for assistance in filling out forms and determining plans of action.
A business owner must make an appointment due to COVID-19 restrictions. Call 337-433-3632 for more information.
Now would be a good time to say thank you again to all of the businesses that are joining or renewing memberships to the Chamber SWLA.
For years our agency has been acknowledging new businesses and companies that join the business family. Early this year, we decided to publish the names of new members and those that renew. We started that in order to show appreciation for all business enterprises that realize the value of the Alliance/ Chamber SWLA.
The pandemic and storms may have impacted some business bottom lines, but those owners who are joining or remaining in the Chamber SWLA family, are strengthening our collective voice locally and on the national front.
Yes, the feeling of being left behind on the national media agenda is real. But the Alliance/Chamber SWLA has been involved in specific projects to make sure certain funds and expertise are made available to our business community.
A membership in the Chamber SWLA family is more important than ever as all of us embark on the new normal or adjustment, recovery and daily small wins. We know the ultimate goal is a resilient and fortified community.
The Chamber SWLA is not just an agency, it is a family. We are appreciative for those who remain as part of the strong whole.
Eric Cromier, firstname.lastname@example.org