CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With all 50 states beginning at least some form of a partial reopening this week, Americans are starting to feel more optimistic about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and look forward to supporting their favorite small businesses once they’re open for business, according to a new survey by local experiences marketplace Groupon. The study of 2,000 people found that 67% of Americans are more hopeful now than when the crisis first began and 75% plan to support local merchants as much as possible once restrictions on non-essential businesses are lifted in their communities. Restaurants, retail shops, clothing stores, salons and spas and bars are expected to be among the first places people spend their money once it's safe to do so.
The study, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Groupon, showed Americans have already been going out of their way to back small businesses–– 86% of people have supported a locally owned business during quarantine and 57% know of at least one establishment affected by lockdown restrictions. Some of the top ways people have showed their support during quarantine include:
- Taking an online class or participating in a virtual experience offered by a local merchant (77% of respondents)
- Booking summer “staycations” - revolving around activities that are close to home and keep their kids entertained (65%)
- Ordering more takeout and delivery from local restaurants (60%)
According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 92% of small businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. To help support local merchants during these unprecedented times, Groupon launched the #HelpSaveLocal initiative to aid local businesses in need and better position them for a speedy recovery. Some of the ways Groupon has put its passion for supporting small businesses and the communities they serve into action have included partnering with Fundera to help merchants secure emergency SBA loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, lending support to Stand for Small a coalition by American Express and a growing group of companies focused on providing small businesses with resources for navigating the current environment and collecting donations from customers worth more than 650,000 meals for communities in need through a partnership with Feeding America.
“This crisis has disproportionately affected small businesses and our hearts go out to local merchants, who have often poured their life savings into their businesses,” said Simon Goodall, Chief Commercial Officer, Groupon. “As some businesses begin to slowly and responsibly open back up, it’s encouraging to see that many Americans plan to continue to help their communities recover by supporting small, local businesses. Even if you live in an area that hasn’t relaxed restrictions or you don’t feel that it’s safe to support them in person just yet, there are still a number of meaningful ways that you can make a huge difference right now such as taking an online class, ordering takeout or delivery and booking future plans.”
The survey also revealed just how important a role local businesses play in making life better. On average people lasted just 12 days on lockdown before attempting to perform services that they would typically have done at small businesses in their neighborhoods including haircuts, manicures and pedicures; one in four say they received a haircut from a family member or friend that didn’t make the cut. And with nine out of 10 people saying they felt bored in quarantine, Americans said eating at restaurants, going to the movies, seeing friends, spending time with family and getting brunch are the biggest things missing from their social lives.
“We’re thrilled to be open and doing what we love the most, which is combining dance and fitness for a fun, alternative workout that enables people to have an amazing time while they work towards their fitness goals," said Farah Taylor, owner of Atlanta's Fusion Belly Dance.
Merchants may be encouraged by yet another statistic revealed by the survey: the average American plans to spend nearly $100 a week at local businesses post-COVID-19, up 16% vs. before the pandemic — in the hopes of boosting their local economy.
“While we are rapidly adjusting our business to implement a number of new safety measures including aggressive sanitizing and educating our members on best practices, we are incredibly excited to be back at work,” said Katie Stumbo, owner and founder of Phoenix’s Go Conquer Fitness. “The new normal certainly creates some challenges for a small business, so we really appreciate the support of our local community as we reopen our doors.”
To find small, local businesses in your area that you can support now or later, please visit Groupon’s #HelpSaveLocal collection at https://www.groupon.com/landing/help-save-local.
Groupon (www.groupon.com) (NASDAQ: GRPN) is an experiences marketplace that brings people more ways to get the most out of their city or wherever they may be. By enabling real-time mobile commerce across local businesses, live events and travel destinations, Groupon helps people find and discover experiences––big and small, new and familiar––that make for a full, fun and rewarding life. Groupon helps local businesses grow and strengthen customer relationships––resulting in strong, vibrant communities. To learn more about Groupon’s community-building efforts, please visit community.groupon.com.