COVID-19 has changed the way that Americans shop and travel, impacting our spending habits indefinitely. With stores, hotels, and restaurants closed or at limited capacity, many choose to stay at home and purchase online or locally, helping to support their local small businesses. The positive impact of working from home, virtual meetings, and happy hours, on-line fitness classes, and being at home is that our consumption habits have changed.
People are aware that without local support, their restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, and small businesses may close. The idea of supporting ‘mom and pop shops’ has re-ignited as people re-examine their needs and wants, and realize they want a local economy that supports their friend’s and neighbor’s livelihoods.
As we watch the recovery begin, or a possible COVID-19 second wave unravels, consumers will be more aware of where goods produce or ship through. This concern will not change in a post-COVID-19 world, and transparency will continue to be critical for consumers.
Travel plans canceling from to airline restrictions, concerns over COVID-19 exposure, and hotel and restaurant closings or limiting capacity have provided an opportunity for travelers to explore closer to home. With planning natural closer to home, 2020 is ‘the year of the road trip,’ according to a Skift Survey:
- 40% of Americans say their first post-COVID trip will be by car, within 100 miles of home.
- 26% will go over the 100-mile mark but stick to the U.S. and travel by car.
- 16% will take a flight
- 8% will leave the U.S. for their vacation
Besides the renewed interest in shopping locally, people are becoming more involved in their communities by donating to organizations that benefit others. The May 2020 online survey conducted by Cause & Social Influence titled, “Influencing Young Americans to Act: Special COVID-19 Research Report,” found that 25% of the total respondents reported buying more local products and services. Overall, respondents additionally reported making cash donations to help local and national non-profits:
- 32% Donated to a food bank.
- 31% Gave to an animal welfare organization.
- 30% Donated to a healthcare reform organization.
- 20% Gave to mental health and social services.
Even though COVID-19 may have many of us feeling like staying indoors, take time to get out and explore what your community’s small businesses offer. You may be pleasantly surprised and discover that shopping locally provides you with everything you need (and want).