Earning

Mark Cuban: PPP 'didn't work'; here's what consumers can do to 'save businesses'

Twenty/20

"It's time to face the fact that PPP didn't work," said billionaire investor Mark Cuban on Twitter on May 17, referencing the Paycheck Protection Program loans meant to support small businesses taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic. "Great plan, difficult execution," he added. "No one's fault. The only thing that will save businesses is consumer demand." 

Indeed, recent reductions in demand were more disruptive to small businesses than both recent problems in their supply chains and concerns about their employees' health, according to a survey of more than 5,800 small businesses by the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

But with so many small businesses temporarily shuttered and a lot of recreational shopping still on pause until shelter-in-place orders are lifted, making a purchase from a small business might require a little more effort.

Here's how small business owners say you can help to support them as local economies reopen across the nation.  

'Look local first'

While Amazon and other online retailers make it easy to get almost anything at the click of a button, "it's important to remember to look local first," says New Jersey-based small business owner Deborah Engel, who founded a co-working space and day care center called Work and Play.

Spending money on local businesses "supports your own local economy and your neighbors who own the businesses," she says. Looking for a shirt to buy your niece for her birthday, for instance? See what local kids' clothing stores exist in your city, or even state, and try shopping there first.

VIDEO5:3505:35
How to help local businesses during coronavirus

Video by Courtney Stith

Find out if local businesses are operating 

When you're looking at local options for restaurants, retailers, etc., it may be hard to gauge how a business you'd like to support is operating given shelter-in-place orders. But "don't assume a business is closed," says Engel.

"Call [the business], ask your friends and neighbors, visit their websites and inquire how they are open. Many are operating in some fashion, even if they are only selling gift cards."

Is your local coffee shop selling ground beans online? Could your favorite nail salon be selling nail care kits via curbside pickup?

Consider the businesses you love to patronize and email or call them to see what they're up to.

'Comply with social distancing guidelines'

For those businesses that are open and allow you to enter the premises, remember to "comply with social distancing guidelines," says Engel. "Open businesses have the added burden from the state to enforce social distancing and mask requirements with their customers. Customers can help by following the guidelines."

When you follow guidelines, that's one less thing for the business to worry about: Your cooperation keeps everyone around you, including the business owner and the staff, safer.

Write a review

Whether or not you can spend money at your local businesses right now, another way to support them is to write a positive review on Google or Yelp.

"We've had quite a few people who've taken the time to write very beautiful, generous reviews," says Stacey Rackham, owner of the Mint Hair Crafting salon in Royal Oak, Michigan. "In the future, people will be looking for [those kinds of opinions], and that is really helpful for word of mouth."

Plus, she adds, for the employees of small business that may be struggling right now, "it's good for morale."

We've had quite a few people who've taken the time to write very beautiful, generous reviews.
Stacey Rackham
Owner, Mint Hair Crafting

'Be patient'

If you find yourself getting frustrated as you wait for your favorite ice cream or barber shop to get back to serving you, "Be patient," says Engel. "Remember, businesses are working with skeleton crews, social distancing requirements, new policies and regulations, and new systems.

Customers may have an expectation that you can call and order something and 30 minutes later it will be ready. But with increased orders and new curbside pickup systems, response times may be slower as businesses manage their new reality." 

More from Grow:

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns

GET STARTED

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.