.st0{fill:#FFFFFF;}

Small Business News and Notes

Expectations 2020 –

 April 18, 2020

By  Jana Hassett

Expectations-

          a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

When do you expect local businesses to reopen from Covid 19?  Will They?

We hear a lot of discussion about small business and their part in our economy.  You also hear that many are in trouble but the government loans and grants will take care of them.

What do you expect will happen?
What does your “New Normal” look like?

Some consumers are looking at doing their grocery shopping online. This brings up the conversation on “dark stores”.  Some retailers are switching entire stores to dark mode. Dark stores are local fulfillment centers converted from formerly shopper-populated stores. With widespread stay at home orders in place, retailers are voluntarily turning the lights out at some locations to accommodate growing online demand.

  • Whole Foods converted at least two locations, one in NYC and one in LA, to dark stores this week.
  • Several other supermarket chains, including Giant Eagle and Kroger, are presently operating temporary or permanent dark stores. (Info from Retail Brews)

The number of U.S. adults who tried and liked online grocery services doubled earlier this year, per Civic Science data. Grocer's are also one of the only U.S. retail sales categories that grew in March, up nearly 27% monthly. Given that demand, some grocery chains are graduating dark stores from test concepts to potential solutions. That's encouraging non-grocery retailers to adopt the dark store playbook. Bed Bath & Beyond said Thursday that roughly 25% of its stores in the U.S. and Canada will become temporary fulfillment centers.

How many dark stores in Cedar City, Utah?
 Is this part of our “New Normal”?

When 80% of Starbucks customers are drive-thru only, it won’t be surprising to see one here in Cedar City remain that way.

Even as retailers reopen their doors, customers won't find the same experience inside. A change in expectations will be needed.  Analysts say coronavirus-inspired changes like contactless payments and traffic limits will last for months and may become permanent.

Our tourist-based economy will continue to negatively impacted.   Hotels, restaurants, and attractions will see an increase in traffic, albeit slowly.  But other types of activities need to be carefully considered before opened or rescheduled.  Bard.org has done a great job in adapting their performance schedule to open later (August) and it took that whole village to come together to make it happen.  Their counterparts in Oregon chose to cancel all plays for 2020, which will have a huge impact on Ashland, and other nearby communities.

That reopen date should work well for local tourist-based businesses to be up, disinfected, staffed and running.  By SUU’s opening date in September, most changes to small businesses will have occurred and some of the new businesses should have survived their “shake-out” month and be ready for customers.

Air travel has been hard hit.  The number of travelers that passed through TSA checkpoints...

  • April 15, 2020: 90,784
  • A year ago on the same weekday: 2,317,381

That's why United Airlines said yesterday travel demand was "essentially zero" and going nowhere fast.

+ Weekend reading: "Now Arriving at La Guardia Airport: One Passenger"

We haven’t noticed any loss because our Airport has been closed for new runway construction.  I’m grateful we didn’t have two consecutive down years like St George.

We need to have realistic expectations for our local business community and how and when they reopen.  We plan to continue to stay home, stay safe for the next three weeks. The reopening of many stores will, in our opinion, begin a new round of infections and we aren’t interested in being one of those victims.

Jobs will come back, but how fast is totally up to the independent business owners. Services will be provided, but again, totally up to the independent business owners.  And consumers must be realistic and patient.  Some stores may not reopen, that will be their decision.

In the meantime, I have much to be grateful for.  I continue to write one thing down each day that I am Grateful for (let me know if you need a Grateful Journal).  My expectations are to see my fiber arts friends sometime in June; my Women In Business friends sometime in July; and all our customers at the Festival City Rock, Gem and Mineral Show in September.

Update - July 18th, 2020 -  Expect a long hot summer!

The against-everything community has rallied their members to position against wearing face masks.  That has keep the virus moving around the country and kept businesses closed, public buildings closed, and more on line shopping.  Read more at the end of my Persona article.

Until then - - - - -

What do you expect?   Comment below if you'd like to share.

>