Updated: Mar 24, 2020
I should have thought about it earlier, it should have hit me that COVID-19 would massively affect my business, but it was only last week that the pin dropped. Oh *insert preferred expletive*.
I don’t have a good excuse, but here it is: I was busy settling into my new place and my new studio, I was helping a mate do the same. I was studying, housesitting and caring for dogs. I was burning the candle at both ends. I was busy and distracted. It was when I became sick that I eventually began to think about COVID-19 and how it would affect my life.
Then it started happening: I would open my inbox each day to an apology. It would go something like “I’m sorry. Due to CODIV-19, we can’t afford to purchase new stock from you right now.” Or, “It is with a heavy heart that we have to cancel this makers’ market”. I began to freak out.
I get it. We have to look out for ourselves, which sometimes means making tough calls. I applaud my stockists for their self-care game and my market hosts for doing their best. But as the apologies kept rolling in, I began to worry about when the money would start to dry up.
I’m still worrying and I don't have a foolproof solution. Many other sole traders and independent businesses are facing this same dilemma. What are we going to do? The only thing we can: help each other.
I pledge to do my best to stop the spread of COVID-19. From washing my hands like a surgeon to sanitising all jewellery before sending it to customers, I’m going to do my very best.
I pledge to support other small businesses. Whether it’s walking the further 10 minutes to the independent grocers or choosing to buy only handmade gifts, I’m going to make the extra effort.
As long as I’m healthy enough to be out in public, I pledge to go to a market once per week to support other small businesses (with my bottle of hand sanitiser, of course).
And finally, I pledge to check in with my fellow creatives. It’s a tough gig at the best of times and now more than ever, we need to band together as a community IRL as well as URL.
These are strange days indeed. Best of luck out there and please, when you do spend money, give it to a small business.