Many of us love our Amazon Prime accounts which give us the ability to very easily click, buy, and have what we ordered delivered to our door in hours or days. We often also enjoy the simplicity of using a major restaurant chains mobile app to have lunch or dinner delivered right to our family when it’s needed. But during the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting shutdowns, have you thought about the deeper impact it is having?
The fact is that our local Portland small businesses and companies need your support and could be the difference between life or death for them.
Lockdowns and Protests Impact Portland Restaurants
Most of us realize that our Portland-area restaurants have been massively impacted by the crazy events of 2020. The pandemic, protests, and other related events have dramatically restricted when restaurants can be open and if/when they were allowed to have customers within their businesses. Both locally and nationally, the plight of restaurant owners, their businesses, and employees has been a staple story daily in the media since mid-year.
Though there are no accurate numbers that show the actual numbers of local area restaurants that have shut down, there have been many local stories listing numerous restaurants in the region that have closed forever. For example, recently (December 9th) Eater Portland, Or ran a story listing several local area restaurants that have permanently closed. The list includes Bridges Cafe after 18 years in PDX, Muu-Muu’s (20 years), and Beech Street Parlor (a staple since 2011) has also succumbed to the disaster that was 2020.
But there are certainly more than restaurants that have been affected by 2020 and they don’t get the attention that our suffering area culinary businesses receive, but they are impacted just as much, if not more!
2020 Impacting Other Local Non-Food Small Businesses
Businesses that are NOT food-related are actually far more numerous than restaurants in the USA. So it is important to understand that many local businesses are also being impacted by the crisis’ of 2020 as much, if not more than local food places.
Driving down the streets of the Portland area you can easily see the restaurant signs in strip malls and intersections. However, there are thousands of other businesses, retailers, wholesalers, and other sales organizations that are in business parks, office buildings, and even home offices that are also being shuttered or irrevokably damaged this year right in our area.
You see, most businesses are connected either directly or more often than not, indirectly. For example, if Boeing cuts down its production due to the pandemic, that will affect their manufacturing partners here in our area. The process further trickles down to those partners’ metal and material fabrication suppliers, which in turn also affects those additional support businesses in the area who feed those business workers on lunch breaks, clean their facilities, sharpen their tooling, sell them supplies for their equipment and maintain their machinery.
In fact, way back in May 2020 Koin 6 did a piece on a few of the businesses that closed up shop due to the coronavirus and its corresponding restrictions. Some of those that closed are Geneva’s Shear Perfection, a landmark Portland barbershop, Hank’s Boots and Workwear shut down permanently and the Yoga Union Community Wellness Center — Breathe Building was another casualty of 2020, among many others.
So the coronavirus is negatively impacting many more local and small businesses here in our area than you may have previously considered. This means that your friends, family, and neighbors who are not employed in the entertainment or restaurant business are also seeing their ability to keep their businesses running or earn a paycheck also affected.
Do Your Part To Help Oregon Businesses During Covid-19
Like with anything in life, we all have choices. Whether it be what we purchase as it relates to the environment or businesses that support our values, we can choose to spend our hard-earned money with large corporations or businesses headquartered in other states and countries -OR- decide to buy and contribute locally.
Regardless of your views on the severity or necessity of the lock-down decisions, also supporting local businesses that are NOT restaurants is imperative for the survival of our state and local economies. Doing so could be the difference between our Portland Metro area coming out of all of this intact or not. If you’re a Portland-area resident, then we are fairly sure that you do not want our area dominated by big-box stores, international corporations, and multi-million dollar brands. You know the importance of small businesses and the innovative entrepreneurial spirit that is PDX.
So what can you do?
We suggest that you simply be conscious of your decisions. Consider your options before just taking the most convenient or cost-effective approach to your spending in the Portland area.
Here are some examples to help get you thinking differently;
- Look for local community alternatives for locally-owned options.
- Try the locally owned community grocery store instead of the big national brand you normally frequent.
- Occasionally skip the convenience of Amazon and seek out local retailers for some of those items you’re purchasing.
- Find the local hardware store to replace your trips to the big-box Home Depot or Lowes.
- If you have a business, source new suppliers for parts and services that are locally owned instead of national providers you currently use.
- Skip the chain, big brand restaurants as often as possible and pick up food from a locally owned business.
At the end of the day, Portland is our community and regardless of the restrictions that we need to abide by, we all should do our part to support local businesses that makes up our neighbors, friends, and community members. If Portland is going to survive and come out of this healthy economically, we all should do our part to ensure we do.