Our mission is simple: Share five items each week that can help you run a better, more productive company. Items will include research, trends, facts, or opportunities. We will summarize each one in our newsletter with a link to the original source if you want more information.
We welcome your suggestions for items to include in our newsletter as well as your feedback on what we share. Let’s make “Five Things…” a collaboration.
What Are Local Shoppers Looking For?
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 76% of Americans have made it a point to support local small businesses, according to a new survey commissioned by GoDaddy. In fact, both Gen Z (54%) and millennials (60%) say they don’t care if they never go to a large chain store again.
The average American has regularly shopped with four small businesses (not counting businesses in the food and beverage industry) within the past year. And 70% say they’ve found products at small businesses that they struggled to find in larger stores, specifically homemade goods (55%), fashion items and jewelry (40%), toys (36%), wellness products (36%), and books (33%).
While consumers have some complaints about shopping small, too, including:
- 29%—dealing with limited hours
- 20%—discovering new small businesses
- 18%—paying shipping costs when shopping small businesses online
They appreciate the innovations small, local stores introduced during the pandemic, including offering curbside pickup (41%), contactless payment (41%), and having an online store (36%).
Most millennials (82%) say they’re more likely to purchase from a small business when they can order items to be picked up or delivered.
Read more about consumer attitudes toward small businesses.
Small Business Owners Are Burnt Out, But Optimistic
According to the latest small business survey released by Capital One Business, American small business owners are burnt out, and “acutely feeling the impact [of navigating pandemic-related disruptions] on their mental well-being.” And it also affects their ability to maintain work-life balance.
Plus, additional challenges, including rising inflation, the Great Resignation, and the current Omicron surge are likely adding to their burnout.
The survey shows:
- 42% of small business owners say they’re recently experienced burnout
- 62% of minority business owners report the same experience
- 52% of business owners have not taken a vacation in the past year
- 62% say they’ve worked longer hours
- 45% say running a business during the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental well-being, and one-third say they’re not sleeping well
- 26% report their work-life balance is worse than it was re-pandemic
There is good news, however, —52% expect their work-life balance to improve in the next six months and 63% say business conditions in their area to improve in 2022.
Read more about how small business owners are feeling now.
Verizon Expands Programs for SMBs
Verizon Business recently launched its new Business Unlimited Data Device plans, which offer the “game-changing speeds of the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband network with…a faster, reliable, and secure network for working in the office or on the go.
Specifically, Verizon says these new plans promise increased cybersecurity, especially in public spaces, “blazing fast upload and download capabilities,” and an alternative to cable internet.
There are several Verizon Unlimited Business Plans to choose from.
Why are Minority-Owned Banks Vanishing?
Today, according to Gene Ludwig, chair of the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity and author of The Vanishing American Dream, writing in Politico, there are only 146 minority-owned banks, down from 215 in 2008.
Ludwig argues this “Great Winnowing” is a result of regulators’ policies that “force the closure of struggling lenders that serve poorer and marginalized communities” during recessions. And, he says, “Unless policymakers shift their approach, the Great Winnowing is almost certain to continue the next time the economy takes a dip.”
Ludwig offers several solutions, including the establishment of “a Federal Community Banking Reserve that can be deployed to buttress small struggling lenders at the moment that economic conditions deteriorate.”
Do you think minority-owned banks are important to the small business community?
Small Business Resource of the Week
One email I look forward to getting is “Idea of the Day” from my good friend and top tax expert Barbara Weltman.
It’s short, to the point, and features information that can help you be a better small business owner. Visit Barbara’s blog, Big Ideas for Small Business, to sign up for her free “Idea of the Day”.
Bonus: Brian’s Quote of the Week. As you deal with the highs and lows of each week, remember one of my favorite three-word mantras, “Gratitude Changes Everything.” Have a great week!