Small businesses

Many small businesses in Keizer and around the country are holding on by the fingernails. The pandemic has changed, perhaps forever, the way we shop for goods and services. The new restrictions imposed by Gov. Kate Brown will make the holiday season anything but jolly.

Small businesses are owned by our friends and neighbors; they need the support of their communities right now.

Restaurants can’t offer the dine-in option now yet take out and delivery is available from many eateries. During COVID, many have rediscovered the art of cooking and baking at home. Eating out is convenient and holds its own allure, but when that is not possible, picking up your favorite food or having it delivered to your door is the alternative. 

Dozens of restaurants in big cities such as Portland and Seattle have permanently closed. That translates to thousands of lost jobs, not to mention the demise of livelihoods for the owners.

Many restaurant employees have been laid off or had their hours reduced. Their households are just like anybody’s: they have bills to pay, too. 

Restaurants are not the only small businesses to suffer during the pandemic. Small owner-operated retail stores have seen their customer traffic plummet. Billions of dollars of shopping has shifted to the web, a trend that will only grow.

Not every small business can match the slick websites to sell their goods. However, they can use social media sites to promote themselves. If today’s consumer wants convenience, a local business can present their products, make it easy for a shopper to call, order and have the item shipped, or pick it up curbside in a contactless transaction.

Consumers should not turn a blind eye to the smaller businesses in their area. Supporting local businesses is supporting the community. Our friends and neighbors who own a business are more likely to contribute to community organizations such as school programs and youth sports teams. A business that is closed or has less revenue cannot donate to the things that maintain our quality of life.

Local restaurants are ready to have an order ready for pick-up or delivery, a local retailer will bend over backward to have your business. 

Bigger isn’t always better, sometimes bigger is just bigger. During the final weeks of holiday shopping, Keizer consumers should consider which small businesses in the area are selling what they need. We should all endeavor to help our friends and neighbors.