• January 16, 2021

BBB: Supporting small businesses - Odessa American: BBB Column

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BBB: Supporting small businesses

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Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2020 5:00 am

Local small businesses across the United States have not been immune to the struggles caused by COVID-19. BBB’s Business Impact Report surveyed more than 1,300 accredited businesses, 70 percent of which believed the outbreak would have a significant negative impact. Their main concerns were keeping up with customer demand and paying employees, with cash flow being the biggest worry.

With Texas continuing to reopen and increase occupancies, consumers have even more opportunities to support the small businesses in their communities. Patronizing small retailers and restaurants around town can help your local favorites recover as they open their doors.

Use these tips from your local Better Business Bureau as you look to support small businesses:

Follow protocols. State and local governments will have protocols in place to allow safe shopping, including maximum occupancies and more. Individual businesses may also place their own protocols asking customers to wear masks or refrain from touching products. Follow these protocols, as they are in place for your safety. You can check gov.texas.gov to see what state mandated measures small businesses in your area are taking.

Stay updated. Refer to the business’ website, emails and social media pages for the latest updates on store hours, limited menus and more.

Remember gift cards. Many consumers have supported businesses during temporary closures by purchasing gift cards. Now is the time to use them or gift cards from holidays and birthdays that haven’t been used yet.

Shop online. You can save some time and check the retailer’s website to see if the item you’re searching for is in stock. Many stores, like restaurants, are now offering curbside pickup for their products.

Have patience. While navigating this new normal can be frustrating, remember businesses and employees are adapting as well. Work with business owners and employees as they implement new policies to keep their customers safe and allow them to keep their doors open.

Communities have been coming together during trying times, and supporting local businesses is a way to continue offering support. Check bbb.org to find trustworthy small businesses near you!

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