2020 has been quite a year for all of us. I’m grateful for many things this year, including the fact that my small business has been able to weather the Covid “new reality” and that we have continued to help those who depend on eyeglasses but are hesitant to leave home to find them. Knowing that kids like mine (and many adults!) have been able to pick their glasses out using our app, with a little less stress, is such validation for the creation of Fitz Frames. The most rewarding part of this year has been the work our team has done in developing Fitz Protect for the selfless, healthcare workers. They are the true heroes of 2020.
While Covid has impacted all businesses big and small, it has been particularly devastating for the latter. As mentioned in a previous blog post, it’s estimated that almost 100,000 businesses have shuttered since the inception of Covid-19. Those still open continue to struggle with constantly shifting factors, including health regulations, infection rates and their clients comfort level with venturing outside the home.
I recently came across this article explaining the state of Ohio small businesses (where Fitz does all of our manufacturing) as well as the general state of affairs for entrepreneurs across the country. Some of the eye-opening stats are:
With more than 30 million in the US, small businesses are imperative contributors to local and national economies.
For every dollar spent at one of those small businesses, about 67 cents remain in the local community.
To remain in business, 62% of U.S. small businesses need consumer spending to return to pre-COVID numbers by the end of this year.
In addition to the economic benefits small businesses offer, the way they shape our communities is also evident. One of the things I love most about where I live is the small business community that gives the town such a unique character and feel. I love stopping in and saying hello to the shop owners and folks behind the counter and learning everyone’s name - as all of us can use a bit of extra contact from behind our masks at the moment. I’ve enjoyed the rare nights I’ve been able to sit outside at our local restaurants, albeit bundled up and under heaters that these establishments have no doubt overpaid to get. I see how grateful the staff are to have us and how much it means for them during this really difficult time. I hear some of the local shop owners talking about how this is the toughest time they’ve had since the 2008 recession and why sales from this holiday season are critical to pull them through to next year.
I’m doing my best to support my community - buying books, toys, home goods and food from the local shops and markets that rely on regular patrons. I am grateful for these incredible vendors who are extremely flexible and offer to do deliveries and curbside pick ups to help customers who aren’t comfortable shopping in person. I encourage you to do the same in hopes of making this a successful holiday season for all of our small business friends. Without these businesses, we not only face economic disadvantages, but also, the connections to the community we all really need right now.
May you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for your support.