Many of us are still struggling amid the pandemic -- some more so than others. Many bigger corporations have safety nets to help them survive, but the same cannot be said for most small businesses.
This includes that cozy coffee shop you studied in all through high school or that boutique filled with cute clothes you still wear to this day.
Luckily, some things have started to open back up. Most students have been able to return to school in some form, and many workplaces are finding ways to return to a somewhat normal schedule. That said, local restaurants and shops are still facing heavy restrictions with detrimental effects.
We have all had to find ways to adapt to the current circumstances, but small business owners have arguably had to do more adapting than anyone else. Of course, we should always be supporting small businesses, but right now they need us more than ever.
These businesses have helped their communities grow and prosper year after year. Whenever a local sports team needed a donation in order to travel to a tournament, a small business stepped up. Catering for a school fundraiser? A local restaurant would be there to answer the call. They have always been here for us, so now it is time to return the favor.
And with the holidays coming up, there's no better time to do so than now. Instead of buying gifts and supplies from Target or Amazon, try out the small shops down the street. It might not be the easiest, but in the end, helping the people who make up your community makes it worthwhile.
When you buy from bigger brands, you usually don't see where your money goes. However, when you shop at a local store or eat at a restaurant in your area, you often see those expenses being put back into the community.
Your local businesses are owned and run by everyday people. You may pass them in the grocery or see them at church. They truly care about you, your family and the overall well-being of the community you live in.
Trust me, I know how convenient it is to find what you need online and have it arrive at your doorstep two days later. I can't recommend you give that up completely, but maybe split your shopping -- do some of it online and save some for small businesses.
Times are hard right now, so let’s support each other where we can. That starts with coming together to build our communities up. When we support local businesses, we are giving back to those who help shape the communities we love so much. Small businesses are what make our towns warm and unique, and it is our job to help pull them through.
Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans.