Penn State is continuing to respond to the spread of coronavirus. Monitor our Coronavirus Information website for more updates.

Pandemic Impact on Small Businesses and Their Customers

During these troubling times caused by COVID-19, many small businesses have closed. Our economy is so dependent on these local businesses because they provide resources, services, and employment to most of our population. Without these small businesses, our economic longevity is at stake. When COVID-19 hit back in early 2020, many small business owners in Pennsylvania were scrambling to figure out what would happen to their businesses. Many closed, and many adapted to this pandemic that has affected the entire world.

From experience, this has changed the way that I conduct business at my restaurant, C & C Pizza. We have transitioned to strictly take-out orders. We were able to set up plexiglass and enforce guidelines to keep our employees safe and keep them employed. However, this has changed the entire experience a customer gets when dining in. Customer interaction is not the same, which takes away a part of what makes a small business like mine thrive. I hope that by incorporating new ways to greet customers and provide them with top-level service, we will continue to make customers feel like they are getting personalized service.

Small business owners face a long road ahead of us, but our economy and communities will thrive like never before if our communities stick together and support continues for small businesses. Our economy’s fate is up to these small businesses that provide a majority of employment in the state. These are the driving force of our economy and help fortify our long-term sustainability.

From personal experience, I encourage everyone to shop locally when they go out to eat or go to the grocery store. The following quote from a small business owner stuck with me over the years; it helps to describe the importance of supporting family-owned small businesses: “By shopping here, you will help pay for my children to participate in school sports instead of helping a billionaire buy his next vacation home.”