It’s kismet that today, March 29, is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day.

With many businesses closed in our area now because of Osceola County’s “Stay at Home” declaration, or in the case of a restaurant, only able to serve food for take out or delivery, it is a tough time to own and operate a small business in the community.

Small businesses are a vital part of the United States economy  — according to the  U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 27 million small businesses in the United States. The critical role they play in our communities is sometimes overlooked. Now is a great time to show your favorite small business much-deserved appreciation, even if you can’t go right down and shop there today. Do what you can as encouragement to hang in there and salute your favorite store by:

  • Buy gift cards, online if you have to, for your favorite small businesses and give them as gifts to encourage others to shop there;
  • Share their social media pages to improve their following and their reach;
  • Talk about them — word of mouth advertising is some of the best advertising small businesses get;
  • Take their business cards and then recommend them to a friend;
  • Be a loyal repeat customer, especially when they re-open if they are closed right now.

Many of these “Mom and Pop shops” are generational family businesses and offer superior customer service as the owners take personal pride in their operations and in their communities.

If you own a small business and are wondering how you’ll weather the economic downtown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, here’s a guide to the Payroll Protection Program, one of the pieces of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law Friday, that could help keep or retain your employees, especially if you have fewer than 100 of them.

All the best to the small businesses in our community, who make a positive difference every day!