Without a doubt, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our world and life as we once knew it. Lockdown measures and the necessity to stay at home has had a profound effect on mental health and an undeniable financial impact on businesses, particularly small businesses. It has changed the way we live, socialize, and even the way we shop.
Many businesses have been able to thrive while unfortunately, others have not. Small businesses have been hit particularly hard.
According to an Australian report, 63%of small businesses were negatively impacted by Covid-19. In addition, 37% said remaining in operation was a major concern, and 21% worried about ensuring their staff had work.
Women-led small businesses have also been consistently harder hit than their counterparts during this pandemic.
According to the U.S. State of Small Business Report by Facebook:
- Women-led small businesses were on average 6% more likely to be closed globally and in the US, 5% more likely.
- 54% of operational, women-led businesses reported that their sales in the past month were lower than the equivalent month last year, prior to the pandemic, compared to 47% of businesses led by men.
The reality is that after struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, many small businesses have been forced to shut down entirely. Months of uncertainty, combined with declining sales and the inability to compete with fast fashion powerhouses are all contributing factors. The irony is that while small businesses are suffering, big brands are continuing to become more profitable.
Unlike many fashion giants, small businesses actively recognize the negative impact fast fashion has on our planet and the people employed to produce clothing.
By choosing to support a small business (especially sustainable, women or minority-led), your impact extends much further than it appears on the surface. By shopping locally, you are not only empowering workers and supporting the people in your community, but you are also helping our earth and ecosystems thrive.
Here at Poème, our clothing is made through empowerment and not exploitation. Each employee that helps produce our clothing receives above Indonesian industry-standard wages, 8-hour workdays, vacation time, and health insurance.
We ensure our brand truly reflects practices of ethically-made goods, sustainability, and fair wages because we truly care about our workers and our planet. In short, our handmade and unique clothing is a more sustainable and ethical choice for both the maker and the consumer.
While you may be doubtful that your dollars can make a positive impact, we want to assure you that they can. Consumers have more power than they realize. When you choose to support a small business, you are directly supporting the community in which you and the people it employs live.
There is no denying the emotional and monetary toll the pandemic has had on individuals and businesses alike. As lockdown measures gradually decrease and as the world returns to some semblance of normality, we hope you continue to think about your purchasing habits and choose to support small businesses.
Local businesses, empowered artisans, and the health of our planet will thank you.