Helping Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

#cakesforsmallbiz Rainbow Cake by Sugar and Sparrow

These are wild times, my friends. How are you all holding up in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic? For me, I’ve been sheltering in with my husband, working my day job from my home office, talking to all my friends through Zoom/FaceTime, and baking to calm my anxiety about how long this is all going to be a reality. Life has changed so much in such a short amount of time, and while I’ve found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for my own health and wellbeing, it’s so hard to watch the suffering around me without an end in sight. 

One of the things that’s really breaking my heart is seeing things come to a halt for all the small businesses I love. The struggle of having to lay off employees, dwindle savings accounts, and even close up shop indefinitely without knowing whether or not they’ll ever bounce back, is real. This virus stuff is stressful enough, and to throw financial trouble and uncertainty about business viability into the mix is over the top. They could really use our help right now. 

Pips Original Doughnuts Portland, OR
solabee in Portland, OR

I wanted to share a few ways you can help your favorite small businesses during this time of crisis, and one of the ways involves CAKE. Yeah, that’s right! I’ve got this wild idea to invite you all to make cakes inspired by (or in honor of!) your favorite small businesses and share them on Instagram with the hashtag #CakesForSmallBiz. All you have to do is post your cake pic and caption it with a little info about why you love that particular business and how people can help them thrive under the current circumstances. 

For example, this is a cake I created based on a mug design by my favorite local ceramics artist @margaretandbeau. She opened her first brick and mortar shop last year (the cutest shop ever) but has since had to close it up indefinitely. She has migrated her work onto an online shop in the meantime, and you can check out her beautiful ceramic mugs and more (and even purchase the Cactus Sunrise Mug that this cake is based on) by heading to Cupboard Goods.

cactus mug by margaret and beau

AND PS: I’ll be sharing all of your #CakesForSmallBiz photos on my Instagram to help you share their stories and ways to help. 

Whether or not you can make a cake, here are some suggestions for helping the small businesses around you right now: 

  • Find out their specific needs: look at their website and social media to see what their specific needs are. They might have a GoFundMe set up or other ways to help that are tailored to their current situation. 
  • Shop Online, but Local: as an alternative to Amazon and big businesses, see if you can find the same/similar products on websites of local businesses. This will only work for certain products, but it’s worth a mention.
  • Purchase Gift Cards: some businesses are only able sell gift cards until further notice. Buy them for yourself or your friends to use in the future and help provide some financial support in the present.  
  • Help Them Advertise: post about them on Instagram, share your #CakesForSmallBiz, and use your voice to promote them for free. 
Portland, OR

I’m excited to band together and support our favorite small businesses around the world and I’m hoping to see your #CakesForSmallBiz creations soon! Be sure to use that hashtag so you can show me on Instagram. Love you all and hope you’re staying safe!

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