Apr 16th, 2020, 01:06 PM

Supporting Small Businesses During COVID-19

By Kayla Stokes
Think Big, Shop Small, Image Credit: Shutterstock/300828083
COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on the fashion industry, especially small businesses.

No matter the industry, small businesses have taken a serious hit from COVID-19. For what seems like the first time in decades, the fashion industry is at a standstill. Fashion weeks have been canceled, the MET Gala has been postponed, and if a company has resources then they are expected to put them towards the aid against the global virus. 

But what about small companies? The companies which do not have the staying power of companies like LVMH, and may not have the means to make it through this precarious time. While some names in the industry such as LVMH, Chrisitan Siriano, and Ralph Lauren have switched to creating masks and hand sanitizers,  many companies are struggling to make it to the next day. 



#LVMHJoinsForces x #BvlgariSupportsYou Sharing an initiative of support from @Bvlgari, with love: Bulgari announced last week the production and donation of several hundred thousand bottles of hydro-alcoholic sanitising gel at the ICR factory in Lodi, Italy – its historical fragrance partner – in order to supply the most affected Italian medical establishments as a priority, via the Italian Civil Protection Department. The Roman jeweller now wishes to extend its support to Switzerland, a country in which the brand has more than 600 employees – starting with the Canton of Neuchatel, where Bvlgari employs more than 350 people and creates Watches and Perfumes for the whole world. #BvlgariSupportsItaly #SafeHands #iorestoacasa #fightcovid19 #LVMH

A post shared by LVMH (@lvmh) on

With everyone, hopefully, being at home, it is difficult to imagine what you can do to help your favorite businesses stay afloat. Here are some ways that you can help make a difference and maybe enjoy yourself later on once the quarantine ends! 

Gift Cards. Many small businesses offer gift cards or have begun to offer cards due to their state's/country's lockdown procedures. Gift cards are a great way for businesses to receive money that they can use instantaneously, but at the same time you get something in return. 

Vanity Projects, a nail salon chain in NYC and Miami, recently began their "COVID-19 Gift Certificate Program". From March 20th through April 6th, anyone who buys a gift card will receive 10% off and they will give 10% of the gift cards' funds to their artist directly.

Many businesses have begun to do similar campaigns, whether temporary or permanent. If you aren't sure if your favorite small business sells gift cards, don't be afraid to send them a DM! 

Share posts on social media. Like small businesses, you too may be struggling with rent or daily necessities. A free way to help brands - and bring out your inner influencer- is to simply share posts. Whether it's about their gift card programs or an awesome item that you brought from them, a little post goes a long way. 

Donate to a fund. GoFundMe, an international fundraising platform, has created "The Small Business Relief Initiative". According to their site, they along with Yelp and Intuit Quickbooks have each donated $500,000 to this fundraiser in order to "help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them". 

The company will provide the money through a one-time micro-grant. If you'd like to continue donating to a specific company, the site has put together a glossary of companies and their fundraiser pages. 

Simply check-in. A simple message of "how are you?" or "how can I help you?" goes a long way. These are trying times we are in and everyone needs support. After checking in with yourself and your own health, you can send a quick message to your favorite business. Whether it's a heartfelt message or a funny meme about you being sweats or PJs all day, I can guarantee that the employees of the business will appreciate it! 

While COVID-19 may have taken away our physical presence, it has somehow made us closer than ever.