At least there's this.

By Maggie Seaver
August 06, 2020

It’s hard to find a silver lining in an unprecedented global health crisis, but if there’s any goodness to come from the pandemic, it just might be Americans’ newfound—or at least renewed—appreciation for small businesses. 

Sadly, independent businesses have taken a massive hit since the onset of the virus and subsequent lockdown mandates, with many of them forced to lay off employees, halt any sort of revenue flow, and even shutter storefronts for good. 

Despite this, or more likely because of this, Americans have started to shift their perspective and wake up to the importance of shopping small. Americans can’t wait to visit their local haunts again and worry favorite spots might not pull through the pandemic. Coffee shops, hair and nail salons, gyms, bars, restaurants, and clothing stores—we miss them all.

A heartening survey of 2,000 Americans, conducted by OnePoll for Canva, reveals that the pandemic has inspired 70 percent of respondents to support small businesses instead of big corporations. What's more, 80 percent said the effects of COVID-19 have opened their eyes to how valuable small businesses are to their communities. And people are determined to change their spending habits long term: 77 percent plan to support more local businesses even after the madness dies down.

On average, survey-takers have supported 10 small businesses during quarantine, doing what they can to keep their favorite local spots afloat. How? Mainly by ordering takeout and delivery from restaurants (43 percent) and by shopping small online (39 percent). People have also been extremely generous with delivery tips. According to the survey, over half of respondents have been tipping delivery drivers more than usual—up to 28 percent in some cases.

Dropping cash isn’t the only way to show love. Word of mouth is a powerful form of support—it’s free marketing for businesses! Thirty-one percent of those surveyed have been writing reviews online and 30 percent have taken to sharing and engaging with businesses’ social media posts.

Even with this surge of individual support and awareness, though, 74 percent of respondents are still concerned their beloved spots simply won’t have the means to make it through the pandemic. If you’re worried about your town's small businesses, there are tons of ways to do your part, including ordering/shopping online, writing reviews, posting on social media, buying merch, buying gift cards, or even donating.