(BPT) – COVID-19 has sent many businesses into a tailspin. According to a recent study, more than 100,000 small businesses have closed since the beginning of the pandemic. For those businesses able to reopen, it’s usually for limited hours with limited offerings, which dramatically cuts profit. Unlike chain stores, independent small businesses lack access to a large parent company and the resources – including large capital reserves – that typically come with it.
As summer begins, we are starting to see more local businesses open safely. During this time of transition and beyond, these businesses need your support. Consider your local bakeries, for example. Recent coronavirus restrictions are impacting small and medium-sized bakeries particularly. Beyond serving delicious breads, cakes, pastries and donuts, independent bakeries often play a vital role in their local communities, providing affordable baked goods made with skill and passion.
Bakeries also offer employment, and support the community in other ways, including sponsoring and participating in events and activities. Local businesses support their respective economies, and now more than ever, they need the help of their residents. One way to help your community thrive is to support your local entrepreneurs. While there are many, here are the top four reasons to support your local bakery this summer and beyond:
1. Bakeries can practice social distancing and safe sales.
If you find yourself craving sweets more during quarantine, you’re not alone. You probably have a favorite treat only your local bakery can provide, but red velvet cupcakes were 113% more popular in the Midwest, and donut holes were 369% more popular in the West during the first month of social distancing, according to a recent Grubhub report.
Fortunately, quarantine and social distancing don’t mean giving up your favorite treats from local bakers. Many independent bakeries are modifying services and menu options to continue to serve customers in a safe way. This includes things like limited hours, curbside pickup and at-home assembly kits so people have everything they need to decorate a delicious treat at home with the bakery quality they enjoy.
2. You get access to the freshest variety of specialty treats.
The baking spirit has inspired many people while social distancing. The Economist reported that searches for flour and other ingredients soared, as did other Google searches related to baking. Baking at home is a wonderful activity, but your treats probably don’t taste the same as your favorite baker’s offerings. Why? Bakers have years of expertise and the finest ingredients to make foods that just can’t be replicated at home.
While people are struggling to find baking staples like yeast and flour at their local grocery, many bakers get supplies from specialty companies like Dawn Foods that manufactures and provides high-quality ingredients sourced from top suppliers around the world. Dawn’s specialty baking supplies enable bakers to create treats that are impossible to replicate at home, like gourmet donuts.
3. Bakers give back to their communities.
Bakers are the heart of a community. They help memorialize important moments and events in everyone’s lives. Supporting your local baker means supporting your community. In honor of its 100th anniversary, Dawn recognized the efforts of 10 bakers across the United States, who give back their time, talents and means to local causes, and helped them expand their local efforts.
For example, Pasticcini Bakery in Weymouth, Massachusetts, donates on an as-needed basis to community fundraisers in addition to an annual donation to the Cardinal Cushing Center, an organization that educates and prepares children and young adults with a disability or special needs for life experiences. The SmallCakes Cupcakery and Creamery located in Baltimore, Maryland, recently donated to a local farming co-op that looks to open a grocery store dedicated to bringing healthy food options to a community experiencing food scarcity. No matter what the cause, local bakers go above and beyond to identify needs within the community.
4. There’s always a reason to celebrate and connect.
Celebrating is part of the human experience, lifting spirits and honoring memorable milestones. While birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, holidays and family get-togethers look a little different during COVID-19, a delicious baked good from a local bakery is a simple yet effective way to celebrate and bring a smile to everyone’s face during difficult times.
Call your local bakery to check availability and open hours. Placing an order and picking up a treat helps you make any day special. You’ll be able to chat with your local baker – a simple pleasure many have missed as we shelter-in-place. As an added bonus, you can feel good about supporting someone who’s dedicated to the community and working hard, rising at the crack of dawn, to keep their dream alive and maintain a small business during tough times.