Fifth Third Bank, National Association, urges its communities to continue to support their local businesses, especially during the pandemic, when many have struggled or had to close their doors.
“Small businesses are an integral part of our community,” said Kala Gibson, head of Business Banking and chief enterprise corporate responsibility officer for Fifth Third Bank. “We are proud to support our clients’ bold vision, ambitious plans and their ongoing pursuit of a better tomorrow during National Small Business Week – and all through the year.”
So far in 2021, Fifth Third has funded loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program totaling more than $1.7 billion to more than 21,000 business customers. These loans helped to support 197,000 jobs, 91% of them at companies with 20 employees or fewer. In 2020, Fifth Third lent $5.4 billion to more than 40,000 business customers through the program.
In celebration of Small Business Week, Fifth Third offers tips to help support community businesses. Consider these five ways to support your neighborhood businesses:
Shop local online: Shopping local doesn’t have to mean in-person. If your favorite stores or businesses have limited hours or you don’t feel comfortable shopping in the store itself, many offer online orders with delivery or curbside pickup.
Support on social: Follow your favorite businesses on social media, then like their posts or write reviews of services and products. This year, during Small Business Week, Fifth Third suggests that you show support of your businesses by visiting your favorite local business, posting on social media and tagging #53shopsmall.
Order takeout: If your neighborhood restaurant isn’t open or you aren’t ready to dine in, consider take-out. Restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic, with food service sales having fallen $255 billion and 110,000 restaurants closed in the past year, according to the National Restaurant Association. If your budget allows, pick one night a week to order from a restaurant in your community. Consider tipping even with carry out to help support workers.
Be respectful of reservations: If you make a reservation at your nail or hair salon, restaurant or other business, make sure to honor it. That means if you can’t make it, give them at least 24 hours’ notice. Many businesses continue to limit the number of customers they serve at once, and cancelling a table at the last minute can be a big blow to a restaurant operating with fewer tables.
Learn about your local businesses: It takes time to shop local beyond your neighborhood restaurant or shop. Check to see if your community has a farmers market or your grocery store has a special section for local products. You also can see if your local African American Chamber of Commerce has a list of locally owned businesses to try.