While ensuring the safety of our people during the COVID-19 crisis is our number one priority, sustaining our neighborhood businesses is also critical. For many of these businesses the order to shut their doors— albeit necessary for our health and safety — started a countdown on their future.
The city, county and the state are providing $4.7 million in emergency financial relief to Detroit and Wayne County small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), through the CARES Act, is providing $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. These funds can be used for payroll, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
While it’s heartening to see public and private organizations come to the aid of small businesses, it’s also sobering to see the need.
Emergency aid is an important step in sustaining local businesses during this crisis, but nothing helps business owners more than sales revenue. This is where our community can dig in and help our neighborhood businesses survive. Without leaving your home you have the power to be part of the solution. Consider these actions:
Purchase gift cards for a later use: SkinBar VII, located on the Avenue of Fashion, has gift cards for purchase for all types of services including facials.
Support local restaurants through takeout or delivery: Norma G’s, located in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood, is open during regular hours for takeout of its delicious Caribbean-influenced cuisine. Check out degc.org for a complete list of open Detroit eateries.
Order online from local retailers: Pages Bookstore in Grandmont Rosedale is filling book orders as fast as it can by booksellers working from home.
Help local businesses who are raising money: Support the GoFundMe efforts of a local business, such as Table No. 2 on Livernois and many others that have posted on social media about crowdfunding efforts.
Use your networks: Perhaps most powerful of all, you can use your social networks to share your support and promote local businesses.
If you’re a small business owner, visit degc.org to find resources available to you. If you’re a resident, please shop your local businesses, and tell your friends to as well. Please do your part to help save our small business community. When this crisis is over — and it will one day be over — we’ll all be so very glad we did.