Looking for a way you can help your local community right now?
Laura Ricciuto of Kaizen Marketing has just launched a Special Project – A #STRONGERNIAGARA – a video series created with the goal of connecting the community with business owners … “The people behind the business.”
This is an opportunity for local entrepreneurs and business owners to get some extra exposure and word out about their business, how they’ve been impacted and how they will be serving their communities again in the future.
By making and reinforcing these connections with our community today, it is our hopes that we will all return to a #STRONGERNIAGARA
If any of you know a local business that can benefit from some extra exposure and support please take a moment to tag them in the comments so we can all do our part to create a #STRONGERNIAGARA Contact Laura via her Business Facebook Page.
In the spirit of our myNiagara Online community platform we’re here always to show our support and rally our local community together. We thank Laura for her leadership in creating this video series and look forward to sharing her #STRONGERNIAGARA local business stories.
Laura explains the impetus that inspired her community initiative:
#STRONGERNIAGARA has been created out of a desire to do something for my community during these challenging times.
I have been struggling with wanting to help but not knowing how I could help.
I see all of these people and businesses doing amazing things – being able to provide food and necessities, being able to transform their companies into making PPE gear and sanitizer and basically being able to step up to help in ways their community needs them most.
While I can’t do any of those other things, I realized that I can help my community by applying the skills and knowledge that I do have as an MBA, a business consultant and a marketer.
I can also help relate as a fellow entrepreneur and business owner who is going through this very same struggle in our own family business. And rather than get spun into a spiral of despair, I can help serve as a reminder that we need to rise up and focus on what we can do to help our communities.
For 15 years I have been able to help keep businesses strong and help them overcome their challenges.
Hearing the staggering numbers reflecting the millions of job losses and the grim outlook for small business, it became clear to me that in all of this – this is an area I can help – and an area that I need to help.
To hear that as many as 70% of small businesses in America will not survive the next 6 months is heart wrenching.
While these are U.S. stats, we aren’t that different here in Canada and will face many if not all of the same challenges.
To know first-hand how much time, energy, blood, sweat and tears goes into building a small business, I know I can’t sit idle and watch as people have their livelihoods pulled out from underneath them, from no fault of their own.
One of our own small businesses, Natural Life – an Osteopathic clinic in downtown St. Catharines, was forced to close its doors in early March. We employ a team of 7 professionals who have been thrown into uncertain times. We have had our revenue drop to $0. There is no digital equivalent for what we do in the community. We are a manual therapy and we are not able to practice in accordance with the current guidelines and restrictions. This means that we are forced to get resourceful and creative with how we will manage and how we will keep all of our staff for when we will be able to rebuild in our community.
As upsetting as all of that is, I know we are not alone.
These are unprecedented times we are facing but we need to look towards the light and take control of the aspects where we can help.
And, the reality is EVERY single one of us has a way we can help our local community pull through this.
Whether it’s by financially supporting a small business – or simply sharing and getting the word out about what their business does for our community – it will help in reminding Niagara that these small businesses are out there – and whether they are operating through these difficult times or have been forced to close their doors for an unknown amount of time – we are out there and waiting until the day we can safely serve our communities again.
This is where this project comes in. A #STRONGERNIAGARA – The People Behind The Business – is a video segment I have created to bridge the gap between where we are right now and where we will need to be in the months to come.
While we are home and staying safe for our communities – we can take this time to learn more about the businesses that have dedicated their lives to providing us the products and services we take for granted.
As a community we can make a difference for fellow business owners.
Be aware of local options.
Share their content.
Leave them a positive review.
Help them get exposure.
These are all ways that you can help that cost no money and you can do right now.
And when you do have money to put back into the community:
Go back to the places you love.
Try some place new.
Go local when you would usually go big box.
And understand that many businesses will need to raise their prices just to stay alive.
Understand that they are not being greedy – they are simply doing what is necessary to get them through the significant losses that they have been forced to absorb.
Because it is the businesses that don’t adjust to these challenges that will be the first to suffer the demise of this pandemic.
This is not opinion.
This is a matter of fact.
Small businesses do not have the profit margins to get through months and months of business interruption and pay back tens of thousands of dollars in loans and new debt.
Debt they incurred just so they could re-enter the market and try to give it their best fight for survival.
Debt they have had to incur just to keep their staff on payroll, to pay the rent or to simply keep the lights on.
So yes, prices may be a little more expensive upon our return, just know that this is not a matter of greed – it is a matter of our survival.
Small business is the backbone of our community and now more than ever we will need your support.
So please join me and let’s do our part to so we can return to a #STRONGERNIAGARA