Welp, it’s here: virus pandemonium.  It seems America has moved on from buying toilet paper to buying literally everything.  I was at a Kroger yesterday and saw a gentleman with 18 or so Minute Rice single-serving cups.  I asked him if he needed all of those (not to be confrontational, was just curious) and he said, “maybe.  maybe is enough of a reason right now.”

Eek.

Listen, I don’t want to de-emphasize the urgency of getting this thing under control.  There are a lot of maybes out there right now for the average consumer.  Sadly, those maybes are changing from light-hearted concerns like “will I be able to survive having my kids home from school for the next two weeks without being able to go anywhere fun?” to “is my job/business safe?”

Economic nastiness

You don’t have to look far to see the economic impact of this thing, particularly for travel and tourism.  American grounded most of their international widebody fleet.  United’s CEO team prepped employees for potential cutbacks.  In Las Vegas, the Wynn and all of the MGM Hotels are closed.

The downstreams from this could be devastating.  For every corporate name that’s struggling there are untold millions feeling the pain, not just those working for, say, a hotel company, but housekeepers, cleaning staff, catering, waiters.

It’s not just travel and tourism, though.  What started as a few states over the weekend will likely become the entire country today in mandating restaurants and bars close to all dine-in service.  The retail sector is pulling way back as well, with companies like Apple, REI, Nike, Lululemon, etc., closing their stores through the end of the month.

Lost in the shuffle are small businesses and freelancers.  Many entrepreneurs and small businesses run on the narrowest of margins and there was little anyone could do to prepare for something like this because it happened so fast.

So, what can we do to help?

Go Buy Stuff If You’re Able

Before I get into it: if you’re worried about your financial situation, you can stop reading, and know that my prayers are with you and your family.

If there’s a small business you support, go buy stuff from them today.  As banks are being squeezed by this, funding sources are drying up for many small businesses and they could use the revenue or at least a few orders to brighten their day.  Not just small businesses, but think of freelancers too.

Buy photo prints from your favorite full-time photographers and make bookings for a spring family session.  In addition to buying a takeaway meal from your favorite local eatery, see if you can buy a gift card to use in the future as well.  Go get a haircut and tip a little more than usual.

Some small businesses I support in case you need ideas

(disclaimer: I have no insight into the financial situation of any of the following companies but I personally know the owners and they’re all wonderful people who deserve your support.  The following links are not affiliate links, just direct links to their stores)

Bluffworks

Bluffworks Blazer

If you’ve followed my blog for any decent amount of time you know I love my Bluffworks travel clothing.  My Bluffworks Gramercy Blazer and suit are mainstays in my travel bag and have withstood the test of time.  My girlfriend loves their women line too!

They have a full line of clothing for men, from jeans to suits to shirts and shorts, and recently released an epic women’s line.  Their clothes are smartly designed, wrinkle-free, and comfortable to wear.  Go buy a suit or two!

Compete Every Day

My buddy Jake started Compete Every Day years ago and built it up from nothing into a wonderful motivation and clothing company today.  They sell clothing with a wide variety of motivational slogans on it for when you need that extra push in your workout.  As someone in the middle of a weight-loss journey, I can tell you that sometimes you need every bit of motivation you can find.  I love the simple message of CED and love wearing their shirts, they’re made of high-quality fabric and are as durable as they are comfortable.

Savor Patisserie

My friend Kelli started a macaron company called Savor Patisserie here in Dallas a few years ago.  Starting as a pop-up shop, she grew her business into four locations around the DFW area.  She makes her macarons with the highest-quality ingredients and the flavors are just divine!  Having taken hundreds of pictures of macarons for her I can personally testify that they are wonderful and delicious (I asked to be paid for my photo services in macarons instead of money haha).  They ship to the entire USA as well!

Storykeeping

My dear friend (and one of the most sincere people I know) Clinton started Storykeeping over a decade ago with a simple mission: to tell stories that needed to be told.  He’s an incredibly capable videographer if your business needs a commercial or narrative film with client testimonials, but where his work really shines are his Legacy Films.

Storykeeping’s Legacy Films are cinematic keepsakes of beloved family members.  Captured in the highest quality (I know the gear he uses), Clinton sits down with matriarchs and patriarchs of families as they get into their older years and helps them tell their life story.  An expert interviewer, Clinton walks them through their personal history, their victories and defeats, and what legacy they’d like to leave for the next generation.  You can see examples of these films and inquire with Clinton here.

Competitive Cameras

This is my local camera store here in Dallas.  They’ve been a supportive partner of my photography career as well as this blog for the past five years.  Brick and mortar photography stores are a hard business but these guys have been successful for years.  Eugene, Scott, and the rest of the team are incredibly knowledgeable and have clients from around the country call them because of it.  They’re simply the best at what they do and deserve your support if you’re in the area.

[Insert the name of your favorite local non-profit here]

Non-profit budgets usually are decimated in times of economic stress like this.  Support people and organizations trying to push back the darkness in the world, I promise they need it now more than ever.

Moral of the story: it’s going to take all of us to look after all of us

Many are saying we should look to governments to take care of us in a time like this.  I say we need to do our part as well.  Neighbors can take care of neighbors better than a bureaucrat can.

Keep an eye and an ear out for people who are hurting.  You’d be amazed at the difference a hug a nice meal delivered to their door can make.  People are already struggling and more will begin to struggle.  If nothing else, make sure people are heard and have a chance to vent.  We’ll get through this together.

 

What small businesses or (non-political) causes are you supporting?  Tell me in the comments below!

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