Support our local economy by shopping at small businesses

NORTH COUNTY — Saturday, Nov. 27 is Shop Small Saturday, and if the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to support our small business. They are the backbone of our local economy, they are friends, and they are the reason so many people love visiting and living in our little, big town.

In 2010, during the recession, American Express developed and campaigned for Small Business Saturday. They understood small businesses are at the core of every thriving neighborhood. So ever since then, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, people are encouraged to shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.


Again, businesses big and small are suffering. The COVID pandemic caused the entire world to close its doors, and many of those businesses never managed to open up again. Following that year of shutdowns and inconsistencies, small businesses are now struggling to keep up with inflation and employee shortages.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2020, the pandemic caused the permanent closure of over 200,000 establishments. In California, nearly 40,000 small businesses had closed by September 2020, more than any other state in the nation. According to a report compiled by Yelp, half had shut permanently, far more than the 6,400 that had closed permanently in New York.

The Yelp report was compiled in September 2020 and states, “As of Aug. 31, [2020] 163,735 total U.S. businesses on Yelp have closed since the beginning of the pandemic (observed as Mar. 1), a 23 percent increase since Jul. 10 [2020]. In the wake of COVID-19 cases increasing and local restrictions continuing to change in many states we’re seeing both permanent and temporary closures rise across the nation, with 60 percent of those closed businesses not reopening (97,966 permanently closed).”

The restaurant industry showed to be among the most impacted, totaling 32,109 closures as of Aug. 31, 2020, with 19,590 of these business closures indicated to be permanent (61 percent).


As for bars and nightlife, there were 6,451 total business closures at the end of August, of which 3,499 were permanently closed (54 percent). 

Retail businesses followed closely behind, with 30,374 total business closures, 17,503 of which are permanent (58 percent). 

The beauty industry has seen a total of 16,585 closures. Of all closed businesses in the beauty industry, 7,002 won’t reopen (42 percent), a significant 43 percent increase since July 2020 when we reported that 4,897 of all closures in the beauty industry were permanent. 

Similarly, the fitness industry has endured a 23 percent increase in closures since July, with 6,024 total closures, 2,616 of which are permanently closed.

California and Nevada have the highest rate of total closures and permanent closures—they also currently have the highest unemployment rates as of October 2021.

On the upside, as of September 2021, 85 percent of temporarily closed businesses have reopened, and we have even seen some new businesses open in our downtowns.

Just one purchase from a small business starts a ripple effect of local economic growth, supporting our friends and families and the lively downtowns that we love.