To say that we are living through unpredictable times is an understatement. In light of what’s going on in the world, nearly everyone is experiencing some amount of upheaval and anxiety, and Minneapolis small business owners most certainly share in that. At Grey Fox Pottery, we’re confident that we’ll get through this, and we’ll get through it by remembering we’re not alone: business owners and employees, customers, and neighborhoods. We’re all in this together.
We Will Band Together
The best way forward is to put our collective minds together to share ideas and to receive support. Taking things one step at a time and asking for help when you need it is the way forward when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Reach out to local organizations and business owners in your area to access shared knowledge and to stay up to date on events planned for the area where you run your business or where you patronize businesses. Take a look at resources like Too Local To Fail to sign up and join a group whose goal is to support business in the Twin Cities area and into greater Minnesota.We Will Share Knowledge
Stay connected to other Twin Cities small business owners traversing the same complicated situation and working to achieve the same goal: a safe and successful reopening of the local economy. Remember that when people return to your neighborhood to pick up or eat at a local restaurant or shop, the coffee shop and brewery on the same block also benefit.
Local success is shared success. Access local business and neighborhood organizations big and small to stay up to date. Talk to owners and proprietors who operate in your area through already established groups, or reach out on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to coordinate initiatives and support.
We Will Support Each Other
Supporting local businesses is a conscious decision we can all make: casual consumers to fellow Minneapolis small business owners alike. Supporting our local businesses back to health means making an effort to check in on the progress of the places we used to patronize and remembering they still need our support and a slice of the dollars we have available to spend.
If you can safely spend money on restaurant dining, handcrafted coffee drinks, or a growler to go from your favorite taproom, remember that the owners of your local establishments need to see some of those dollars—and, in turn, their dollars will go into other businesses.
Now and Into the Future
The massive change that so many people have made in the last few months to working from the home office, as well as keeping our kids’ education going from the kitchen table means that our patterns of movement have shifted. Even as restrictions are lifted and some businesses can open in some capacity, your customers might not be where they once were.
As a customer yourself, give some thought to the places you used to visit regularly. Remember the latte you used to pick up on the way to the office three times a week, the deli where you grabbed a sandwich or the taproom near the office where you used to meet co-workers for happy hour. As those places reopen, they need customers to show up.
As a business owner, make sure to communicate on social media with your customers. The people who used to drive by your store or restaurant after dropping the kids off at piano practice will likely not be making that trip these days. Update your social media platforms with any and all progress in the status of your business—adjusted hours, curbside pickup, in-app ordering, etc.—so customers know to make their way back to your shop when they can.
We Will Remember We’re In This Together
The power in the collective, personally and professionally, as a community member and as a business owner, is invaluable. It can be as simple as having someone to talk to when you aren’t sure which next step to take, or how to begin when all the steps seem difficult. It can be the power of a group to mobilize when someone needs specific tasks done or needs to access accurate information. Having a network to turn to for support and to tap into collected knowledge is a benefit we all need right now.
Remember that we are all in this together right now, and sometimes it can help to have a reminder. Grey Fox Pottery, a local Minneapolis small business, is currently using our ceramic scrimshaw technique to create handmade stoneware mugs commemorating the era we’re currently going through together.