The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed life in more ways than we care to list. You, for instance, don’t get your morning coffee at your favorite coffee shop anymore. It’s also been a while since you paid your African hair braiding stylist a visit. And your favorite African boutique hasn’t also seen you for weeks now.
I bet you are beginning to see how COVID-19 might spell doom for some of your beloved African businesses. About 30 million small businesses across the United States are in bad trouble because of the pandemic and African-owned businesses are no exemption.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many African business owners in the US to adjust their bottom-line. Their revenues have dropped significantly. Some have even laid off some of their staff (over 6.6 million people are now unemployed in the USA!) while others have closed their doors altogether.
Most business owners are optimistic that the situation is temporary rather than permanent. However, financial experts from across the globe have agreed that the COVID-19-induced financial recession will continue and probably get worse until all of the public health measures against the disease are lifted and business are allowed to resume their usual operations. We all know that it might take a while before that happens.
Nevertheless, we’re in the present. Our African businesses are badly hurt by the pandemic. How can you and I help our favorite small businesses survive this economic freeze.
For one, I am sure that you’re actively rooting for your favorite African food place to make a successful rebound once we make it to the other side of this global pandemic. So, here’s what you can do to help them through these difficult times.
Your fight to flatten the curve is most likely happening from the comfort and safety of your home. Your favorite African restaurant knows this and has probably changed its entire business model to delivery and take-out only.
A simple way of keeping your favorite African restaurant in business is by ordering their delectable meals for delivery or curbside pickup. It’s quite easy to order food through food delivery apps or by placing your order via phone.
The National Restaurant Association, predicts that five to seven million restaurant workers stand to lose their jobs by June 2020. You help some of the good men and women keep their job by ordering takeout.
Oh, and if you can, don’t forget to tip generously when your meal gets delivered.
Afrikagora lists the best African restaurants near you. Be sure to check them out.
Maybe you favorite African business isn’t a restaurant and you are wondering how you can help them while you are stuck at home. A simple way would be to log onto their online store and make your purchase as you normally would at their physical shop.
If the shop doesn’t have an online store, you could reach out to them via phone or on social media. A good number of African businesses are now conducting business in online market places like Etsy, Facebook Market, and even our very own Afrikagora Marketplace.
If, for one reason or another, it is impossible to transact online, you can boost the business’s immediate cash flow by buying their gift card.
When you purchase the gift card, you’ll help the business now and get to use their services later down the line after we’ve made it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
You probably have services such as local gym, home cleaning or personal training services that you typically pay for on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. During these hardship times, it might be impossible to get the usual service as you did before the coronavirus outbreak.
Cancelling your subscription for such services takes away a major portion of income for the business. That’s why, if you are financially able, you should consider paying as if you were still receiving the service.
Continuing the payment is a direct way of impacting and aiding your favorite small business during the coronavirus-related shutdowns.
The coronavirus outbreak has brought a new reality which many small businesses had not anticipated. Therefore, as we consciously do everything, we can to keep ourselves safe and end the pandemic, we should also practice empathy and take deliberate steps to support local businesses.
Your loyalty and support could make all the difference to the owner of your favorite African business and its employees who rely on it for their daily bread.
What have you done to support your local community during the COVID-19 pandemic?