From The Founder’s Desk: COVID-19 and Small Businesses in the Bay Area

It’s been a hard week. Amidst Google searches, breaking news, friends’ wanted (and sometimes unwanted) opinions, COVID-19 (or commonly Coronavirus) is on the minds and mouths of the Bay Area and the world alike. 

I don’t write you this editor’s letter for clicks or traffic—a lot of businesses are using COVID-19 as a marketing ploy, capitalist pandemics are a thing. You may have been receiving a slurry of emails from brands and businesses local or elsewhere you love about their stance on the disease going around. Encouraging you to stay home, wash your hands often, and more importantly, socially distance yourself from unnecessary interaction. And we agree with all of those. Everyone is taking important and life-saving steps to help others, the synergy around rounding out the curve is heartwarming.

Yesterday, I received a few crucial emails from Bob Cut’s third-party partners. These partners help us make the magazine, merchandise, and more behind the scenes that we don’t show—they are our blood that makes Bob Cut (as a business) fluid. Through a mass email to all of their clients, they relayed to us that they’ve had to close portions of their operations to encourage their warehouse workforce to not get sick and stay home. Sadly with this closure, means that their business is on the line as they promised to continue to pay their warehouse workforce paid leave. Depending on when the state of California lifts the state of emergency, they would only have runway for a month after, potentially closing for good. Their plea to us was to put in any orders, if we could, to continue supporting them through this tough time. 

At Bob Cut, we play on the internet so our cash flow isn’t bound to physical locations or physical presence in San Francisco. For our small businesses who we avidly love and adore—this will become a key challenge in whether staying open at all is viable. Andytown posting that their sales dropped more than 20%, Al’s Deli + Place closing for good due to little foot traffic, this is becoming reality. We will be seeing the end of dreams now on a daily basis.

Of course, this is not me telling you to risk your health and venture into the world but let’s use the internet for small business good. Starting today and until whenever this virus passes, shop your favorite brands, stores, makers, artists (who are local) online, peruse their online shops and get yourself something because you deserve it. You may buy one item but that one purchase helps immensely in these tough times. If you can’t afford to shop local online, which is fair and understandable, blast your favorite item or piece of art, etc on your social media and encourage your friends to purchase their wares. Your paperboy yell from the corner will garner and help push attention to those brands who are trying to keep their heads above water in a corona filled ocean.

There has been a lot of information on COVID-19 and a really great article in the Atlantic, on social distancing I recommend reading, is a great start. 

Remember, tell the people you love the most you love them, show public support and love for your small businesses, and focus on your personal physical health. 

—Anthony Rogers, Founder. Photography by Matt Jones.

From The Founder’s Desk: COVID-19 and Small Businesses in the Bay Area
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