Small Businesses Feel the Financial Crunch

Small%2C+locally-owned+businesses+like+Robust+in+Webster+Groves+are+struggling+to+stay+afloat+amid+stay-at-home+restrictions+prompted+by+coronavirus+spread.+

Image from robustwinebar.com

Small, locally-owned businesses like Robust in Webster Groves are struggling to stay afloat amid stay-at-home restrictions prompted by coronavirus spread.

ALLISON SCHMIDT, Broadcast Director

   Covid-19. We have all felt the effects of this disease. Schools being shut down, quarantine, and social distancing. But one thing that maybe most of us aren’t aware of is the effect on small businesses.
   Small businesses shape our country. From jewelry stores like Embellish in North Carolina, to restaurants like Robust right here in St. Louis. They are all feeling the pressure from being shut down. A recent Goldman Sachs survey of more than 1,500 small businesses said that around 50% of the businesses couldn’t continue operating.
   Some owners like Barb Skupien from Embellish shut down their stores by their own free will. She closed Embellish on March 16th, after she felt the Coronavirus wasn’t being taken seriously. On March 15th, she had a busy day at her store; and that prompted her to shut down Embellish. She said, “I felt like it was my civic duty to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.” Her store has been shut down for over a month. She isn’t sure how she’ll be able to afford the rent which is $3,800 a month.

Some restaurants won’t be able to survive after the toll COVID-19 has taken on them. There may be restaurants that open up, but life will be very hard for them.”

— Molly Browne, Nipher student

   Many small businesses are feeling the financial “crunch” due to the coronavirus. A Coresight Research analyst predicted that 15,000 stores could close in 2020 due to Covid-19. It could possibly wipe out three million jobs before the summer according to an Economic Policy Institute prediction. These concerns are very upsetting for small businesses.
   Molly Browne, a student at Nipher, can understand these concerns. Her parents own Robust which is located in Webster Groves. She said, “Some restaurants won’t be able to survive after the toll COVID-19 has taken on them. There may be restaurants that open up, but life will be very hard for them. Limits on occupancy and other rules will be implemented.”
   With all this being said there are ways to help struggling businesses. If your family is comfortable with ordering out, you can order out from smaller businesses like Robust in the area.  Browne said, “We have promoted safer options for obtaining food on social media. Additionally, we have started a wine stand outside the restaurant. Delivery and curbside pick up are options.” So consider ordering food from smaller businesses in the area. It may be the only thing we can do to help keep them afloat.