These Small Businesses Are Committed to Giving Back—Here’s How to Help

"It’s easy to do the right thing when business is going well, but it’s critical to do the right thing when times get tough."
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Apr 2020
package in front of red front door
Photo: Shutterstock
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Small businesses make up close to 44 percent of America’s economic activity—and many are taking a hit due to COVID-19. While the federal government is coming up with steps to provide aid, it’s a complicated and lengthy process.

Moreover, small businesses are often built around a sense of community—the importance of which has been brought to new light during the pandemic. “The current climate is a big reminder of the importance of community. We live in a world that allows us to do so much on our own. Groceries can be delivered to our doorstep. Uber can take us to the airport, so our family can stay home, Alexa can answer our questions so we don’t have to 'phone a friend,’” Michelle Tunno Buelow, founder of Bella Tunno bibs tells The Bump. “But, when times get really tough, and they certainly are at this point, we are reminded of how much we really need each other and that it’s the people in our lives that really matter. We need to support our friends and neighbors and community. A big part of that is choosing to buy small and support small and local.”

In this spirit of community, many small businesses are also doing what they can to give back. For Buelow, navigating the COVID-19 outbreak has been the biggest challenge her company has faced in 15 years, as their sales “came to a halt overnight.” Still, she’s doing all she can to keep her team employed and covered with benefits—all while giving back. “I think when the challenges get big, a company’s true character is revealed. We are continuing to give one meal for every product sold and donated $10,000 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 fund. It’s easy to do the right thing when business is going well, but it’s critical to do the right thing when times get tough,” she says.

Luckily, there is plenty consumers can do to help from the safety of their own homes. Below are some tips for how to help small businesses right now, as well as a few that are doing their part to give back and help COVID-19 relief efforts.

Buy Gift Cards or Shop Online

While you may not be able to get a manicure or buy your daily cup of coffee from a local cafe right now, you’re likely looking forward to the day you can. Help out the businesses you’re excited to return to by spending the money preemptively on a gift card or gift certificate, if you’re able to.

Similarly, if the small businesses are offering their services or products online, help out by buying directly from their website, rather than from a major retailer like Amazon, Target.com and others. “There are many small businesses on Amazon, so you may be supporting a small business by shopping there. however Amazon owns the relationship with the customer,” Melissa Clayton, CEO and founder of Tiny Tags, explains. “If I find a small business on Amazon, I will take the time to see if they have their own website and then shop directly with them. This way they don’t have to pay Amazon the fees and my relationship is directly with the brand.”

Shout Them Out on Social Media

The next best thing you can do to help small businesses? Spread the word! “I understand that not everyone is in the position to support small businesses by shopping, so a shout out on social media is free and means so much to us,” Clayton says. “Tiny Tags has been built by moms telling moms about how much they love us and we hope that tradition continues.”

It’s true that many small businesses gain traction simply by word of mouth, so give your favorite local spots a shoutout on social media and explain why you love them. They may just gain some new followers—and customers.

Reschedule Don’t Cancel

Everything from weddings to birthday parties to baby showers are being cancelled around the globe to ensure the safety of everyone involved. While it’s undoubtedly a difficult decision, consider rescheduling instead of canceling. Work with your vendors to see if you may be able to host a postponed baby shower or, if your timeline allows, an incredible first birthday party for baby.

5 Small Businesses That Are Giving Back to Help Stop COVID-19

Shop Buru

Mom Morgan Hutchinson founded the chic maternity clothing line with her husband, Brett, in 2013. Now the brand offers everything from stylish dresses to jewelry to matching “Mommy & me” sets. Starting last week, as the CDC issued updated guidelines recommending people wear cloth coverings in public, Hutchinson pivoted her focus. She’s now making cloth masks for adults and children and donating all profits to Los Angeles Unified School District’s meal program. The masks, which retail for $10 each, which are meant to help flatten the curve, and are available for pre-order.

Bella Tunno

Bella Tunno was founded in 2005 with the mission to help change children’s lives. While the company has always donated a portion of its proceeds to feed hungry children—all of its products give one meal for every product sold—it’s estimated that food insecurity will increase by 46 percent in America due to COVID-19. The company has already donated $10,000 to its partner, Feeding America, and continues to give meals for every product sold. Plus, the Kindness Collection gives two meals for every product sold, the Anniversary Collection gives 15.

Tiny Tags

Melissa Clayton started Tiny Tags 10 years ago to create necklaces for new moms that celebrate their strength and the next chapter in their life. Right now, the company is donating to Good and Foundation (and has already donated $500) for every post from customers (using the #loveconnectsusall and tagging @tinytags) on social media thanking healthcare professionals, essential business employees, first responders and all others working on the front lines.

Peejamas

Started in 2016, the brand offers convenient, affordable and eco-friendly overnight training pants. With many retailers running short on or out of diapers, Peejamas not only offers an alternative, but the company is also donating a portion of every sale to the CDC foundation and UN foundation to support the fight against COVID-19.

Booginhead

This female-founded brand, created in 2005, is operated by a small team of seven. They make infant and toddler feeding and soothing accessories that are easy to keep clean. From now through April 30, Booginhead is donating 20 percent of proceeds to local and national organizations that fight against COVID-19.

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