The Internet is rallying today to recognize and celebrate small businesses through #iamasmallbusiness. There have been lots of statistics floating around lately about the percentage of businesses in the US with fewer than 500 employees (it’s a lot!) and how tiny one-person or few-person businesses also make up a significant chunk of the economy. It’s been interesting for me to consider myself a part of the larger small business community instead of the self-employed artist world I usually inhabit. I’m proud of this business I’ve built, the things I’ve been able to create and share with the world, the people I’ve been able to introduce to paper crafting or just get to know, the houses I’ve been able to translate into paper art…it’s been an amazing and incredibly challenging six years that I wouldn’t change for the world. And also, I have the privilege of just so happening to build a business uniquely suited to weather this pandemic crisis fairly easily.
There are SO many other small businesses – artists, shopkeepers, restauranteurs, event organizers, makers, whose businesses depend on crowds, on people being able to travel or gather or even just try something on before they buy it who are NOT okay, and who have so far been unable to access most of the government assistance that’s been promised…and maybe it’s a matter of patience, but maybe it will end up being a matter of closing up shop and finding a gig with a paycheck — and that breaks my heart. I know first hand what it means to invest your blood sweat and tears into the thing you then end up pouring your whole life into, and I can’t even begin to imagine how much harder this situation would be if I was also facing the loss of my work.
There’s not much any of us can actually do here and now about all of this, but if there’s a shop or a restaurant or a person whose work you wouldn’t want to lose, consider supporting them financially right now if you can. They’re likely really worried about that next rent check or utility bill that’s due, and not only does your money help with that, it helps them (that “them” is a person! Often one person!) remember that they aren’t alone. Most of us don’t have access to unemployment assistance yet, and the demand for the various loan and grant programs is SO high that not everyone will be able to access those funds, either.
Anyway, thanks for listening to my speech. Maybe/hopefully you’ve seen things like this floating around your Facebook or Instagram feeds over the last few weeks and this is just a redundancy – great! Maybe this is all news to you – I’m happy to chat more if you have questions.
#redefinesmallbiz #micromatters #doitformainstreet #5andunder