Life has been anything but normal for anyone since March and we hear that time and again from our maker community - the great, ambitious people working hard to bring you all those awesome items for gifts and treats.
But what was true before the pandemic is still true during it: makers gonna make.
While the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses are large (by some estimates, 91,000 small businesses have closed for good), we wanted to hear from our purveyors what it's been like to keep on keeping on this year.
What we heard was another truth that is as real now as it was before March: community wins.
Our makers are deeply invested in and rely on their local communities. That's why when you buy a gift with Batch, you're making a statement. That message isn't just that you easily found some of the best stuff from a given city, but that you want your purchasing power to keep powering local communities. When you spend $100 at a small business, $68 of that stays and is reinvested in that community. (Only $43 of what you spend at a national chain stays local.)
And community begets community, in good times and bad.
Here, in their own words, are our makers on the value of community this year.
"Just a couple of days into the NC shutdown in March, we were able to open a temporary drive-thru coffee shop in what used to be a drive-up Wells Fargo. We had a ton of support from the town and the building owner, and we had enough extra equipment lying around to pull it off. We partnered with a local restaurant to make donuts, and on the first morning we were open, there was a line of 50 or so cars more than a half hour before we opened. We sold out in minutes. After the early weeks of fear and uncertainty, that was the light we needed to know everything would be OK, even if we still had a steep hill to climb."
"For us, the initial challenge of adjusting to retail business shutdowns was and still is the biggest issue. It is hard to grow during a lockdown. We are grateful to have seen our product incorporated into larger gift packages as companies and retailers adjust to different means of getting brands and products to consumers, and that has been just one of the things about being a local business that has been positive about 2020. Everybody is in this mess together, so supporting our neighbors and other local businesses has been the light shining through the darkness."
"The support of our local community, even my son’s PTA, as well as national corporate orders have kept us going strong this year. We have spent time focusing on how the business can best support the hard working staff, the heart of the business, as well as the loyal customers and the community at large."
"As a farm, we have to operate 7 days a week, 365 days a year, no matter what's going on around us. For us that's meant everything from operating with fewer people, hiring more people, distancing work spaces, and staggering work hours. The most difficult aspect is maintaining all of the precautions, such as masks, distancing, sanitization, etc. Overall, online demand for Beauty and Personal Care products has increased, so we've been fortunate to be in a position as an Essential Business that has not experienced a decline in sales. We've used that circumstance to give back to our local communities and will have donated over $75,000 in cash and product to a variety of causes by the end of the 2020."
"For the Daily Crunch team, we launched in 2020 which required us to pivot to where people are now: online and in gift boxes to people's homes instead of the typical grocery route. Our biggest successes have been becoming a certified Women-Owned Business, winning the Progressive Grocer Editor's New Snack Pick and being featured by PopSugar as one of the top vegan snacks in your pantry ASAP."
It's great to see community win, especially when times are tough. That's because when community wins, we all win. With a second wave of business closures on the horizon, each of us can do our part to help save small businesses. These efforts aren't just about one shopping day in November; they're about what we do each and every day here at Batch. We're on a mission to save small businesses, and it's going to take all of us to do that.
Stay tuned - we'll show you how you can make sure community keeps winning and small businesses keep surviving. See you next week.