PPE & RRF Are Over & Done but Small Businesses Don’t Have to Be
Shifting the Focus from Corporations into Communities Offers Small Business Owners Relief
The SBA officially ended its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the end of May and its Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant Program (RRF) in July, putting many local business owners in a scramble for ways to keep their businesses afloat. Christina Safford of Local’tude says the cutoff from pandemic assistance has caused many small businesses to consider closing their doors. Along with labor shortages and rising production costs, many local businesses are feeling the pressure to throw in the towel on their dream.
There is a lot of talk about how small businesses are the ‘backbone of America’ because as pointed out by our Vice President, “half of America’s workforce works for a small business or owns a small business.” She continued to point out that “during the course of the pandemic, one-third of our small businesses have closed.” That leaves even more owners are wondering if it’s worth the struggle to come back from the year+ of closures. Though small business funding is a great start, Safford says that financial assistance is not controlling post-pandemic success. The real tyrant is the 100-year old advertising system that continues to handcuff them.
“I owned a small business for many years and lived the daily struggle necessary of trying to reach my ultimate customer which was a constantly changing target, in a noisy, saturated market.” When the pandemic forced businesses, big and small, to go virtual the shuffle to been seen intensified and many feel it’s simply not worth the effort any longer.
Safford asserts that small businesses have been set up to fail from the beginning and proposes a radical new way to approach the age-old challenge of promotion. “If you take the conventional system of advertising and flip it upside down, keeping the profits in communities instead of with corporations, then suddenly real people start to benefit.”
It might seem impossible, but this world-traveling entrepreneur has a unique view of communities and when she started thinking about the problem from a community-minded viewpoint, she discovered a solution that gives micro-business an edge. “As a small business owner myself, I am committed to supporting local, but it can be challenging with pop-ups telling me where I can get it for less, next day delivery and search results that only show me only what they want me to see. There had to be a key to opening doors for small businesses. When I figured out how to unlock small business success, I knew we had to start having that conversation in the world.”
Safford discovered the crucial element was to shift the algorithm the keeps big businesses big and small businesses small. “Advertising has always focused on corporate profits and if we turn that on its head and funnel the money back into communities, then everyone wins.” Pairing this with the elimination of corporate competition, Safford promises that there is a solution for micro-businesses, mom-and-pop shops, and solopreneurs.
“We don’t have to play the same game that the ‘big guys’ are playing,” Safford reminds both communities and entrepreneurs, “Small businesses deserve a chance to be seen and supported without fighting the algorithms!”
The statistics say that more than 70% of consumers say they are committed to supporting small businesses, especially now more than ever. “This doesn’t have to be the end for local businesses,” says Safford, “By connecting community businesses to consumers with a passion for supporting local, this can be the beginning of a new era where small businesses rise to the forefront.”
About Christina Safford
Christina Safford is a champion of the American Dream, elevating the voices of entrepreneurs and educating consumers on clever ways to support local and shop small. With decades of experience as a client-relations coordinator, she curates conversations and connections between local businesses and their communities.
An entrepreneur herself, Safford is also the idea-maker behind Local’tude, an app that bypasses traditional algorithms, directly connecting community-conscience consumers with local businesses. With a unique vision, Local’tude shifts the focus from corporations to communities, positioning the platform as ‘the perfect advocate’ for small business owners. For more information, visit localtude.com.
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