In reading a lot of the news recently, I have been wondering how many businesses will leave the megabanks or are planning to leave megabanks following the handling of the PPP? My guess is a lot. Not surprising given all the media coverage around big banks supporting their largest clients to maximize benefits vs. supporting small businesses. This was a lesson I learned the hard way. Luckily sooner rather than later. Like many people, I have been a Bank of America customer for over twenty years and applied for the PPP loan on April 7th. Being a small business, I, of course, did not receive funding in the first round. I decided to take a chance and apply through a small, local bank with the second round of funding – I was processed and approved the second day the SBA started accepting applications and all with a smile and thank you from my new bank. Since then, I have closed all my Bank of America accounts and transferred everything to my local bank. During the entire process, I was never able to speak to anyone at Bank of America, but my local bank has communicated with me every step of the way and made things as seamless as possible. As a small business I am not sure why I didn’t change to a local bank sooner but am very pleased to have finally gotten the wake-up call. It’s like night and day being able to have an actual relationship with my bank.
This has also prompted me to take a closer look at how I actually practice what I preach and support local. My husband and I both run small businesses so we are advocates for supporting local, but are we really supporting local as best we can?
Some ways we have been supporting local:
- Retail – our toy stores have been doing curbside pickups – the perfect way to get gifts, crafts and activities to keep the kids at home busy and keep the local shops in business. Lifestyle boutiques have been taking online orders and even going beyond curbside pickup with front door drop off!
- Farmers Alliances – many of our local farms and restaurants have banded together and created a weekly delivery where you can get fresh veggies, homemade meals, local meat, dairy and more!
- Shopping off the boats – lobster boats that is! Nothing says local and fresh more than getting lobsters and oysters right off the boat after a good day of hauling.
These are just a few of the ways we have been shopping local. The cycle of supporting small businesses is so important and it has been wonderful to see how our community has rallied around the local businesses to help keep them afloat. I really hope there is a greater appreciation for small businesses after this pandemic for their ability to think quick and act nimbly – these businesses really are the true heroes. Have you made any changes to how you support local recently?