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Small Business Survival Strategies

“Don’t it always seem to go

 That you don’t know what you’ve got

‘Till it’s gone?”

By Meghan S.

As the iconic Joni Mitchell song warns, we have to protect what’s left of our local culture and community or we may also find ourselves woefully singing about how “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” This isn’t the inevitable, though. We have more power in our voice and ability to act than you might think.
Do you have a go-to restaurant or cafe that serves as your home away from home? A bookstore that may as well have your name embroidered on the armchair? Don’t worry, as that characteristic coffee shop on Friends or restaurant from Seinfeld have proved, it’s not just you. People love to find a place they feel good in and stick with it. So when your beloved hangout is faced with closing its doors, it’s time to take action. 

Why are local businesses so important? 

As of 2016, over 51% of consumer purchases were made online rather than at a brick and mortar establishment. If this trend continues, you and your family will be missing out on more than you think. Let’s look at some of the benefits of keeping that extraordinary mom and pop shop up and running for future generations to enjoy.
  • Preserve local culture: Whether it’s a grocery store, an eyeglass repair shop, or an ice cream parlor with the most mindblowing milkshakes for miles, these small businesses add to the community you live in. They are where your memories are made, and they give the place you call home a flair all their own. 
  • Improve your local economy:  For every $100 spent at a non-local business or corporation, only $43 cycles back into the community as taxes, wages, and donations. Compared to the $68 that feeds directly back into the community when spent at a local businesses, the math is simple. Buying local has a more positive long-term impact on you and your neighbors.
  • Create jobs: In the post-recession period from mid-2009 to 2011, over 67% of new jobs were in the small business sector. As if that statistic isn’t staggering enough, let’s talk spending. For every $10 million spent at a local business, 57 jobs are created.


How can you preserve your favorite local business?

We all agree– it is crucial to keep the doors of these small gems open. There are simple yet impactful actions you can take to help turn things around.
  • Forge Relationships with the business: Whenever you suspect that you could improve or provide something to compliment a business you cherish, speak up! Whether you lead a Girl Scout troop and are searching for a space to hold your meetings, or want to start a weekly writing club for adults or children, the possibilities are endless. If there’s a nook in your town’s bookstore that would be perfect for your needs, see if you can make arrangements to improve your own ventures and that of the local business by giving them access to a whole new market!
  • Exercise your buying power: While this may seem like a no-brainer, if you want to keep a business open, spend your money there. Another bonus? Non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from big businesses. This means that your hard-earned dollars are doing more than just keeping your favorite spot flourishing, they’re helping the neighborhood grow, too.
  • Start a GoFundMe business fundraiserWhether it is a quaint little store or a beloved restaurant you want to raise money for, you have an entire network of people right at your fingertips. Why not utilize them to help raise the funds your local business needs to stay open so they can prosper once again? There is no shortage of examples for how you can make this happen. 


Here are a just a few successful business crowdfunding campaigns on our platform:



 Save-a Cassava!




Five years ago, Kris and Yuka started a little restaurant in San Francisco with only three tables in less than 500 square feet. They could never have imagined the success Cassava would see as the two put everything they had into improving the space they had to grow their dream. It came as a shock when they found themselves strapped for cash after one slow season, so they turned to GoFundMe to get the word out about their plight. Through the support of their community and loyal patrons, they were able to exceed their goal and raised nearly $52,000 in just one month! Their little restaurant remains a staple in the Outer Richmond area, and with a community like that, they’re sure to stay open for years to come.

Some TLC for G&O




This Greenwood, Seattle bike shop was hit hard in the wake of an early morning gas fire back in March of 2016. Not only did they lose thousands of dollars worth of inventory, they lost the structure their business called home. It didn’t take long for the community to rally around those affected by this tragic misfortune. Local artists painted murals around the remnants of buildings to improve moral and raise money at auction, and children at a local school even penned stories and poems about the iconic neighborhood shops that fell victim to the flames and sold them in other local businesses in Greenwood. Days after the event, Daniel Friedman started a GoFundMe campaign for her partner and co-owner of the shop. In only two months, the campaign exceed their goal of $45,000 and they were able to move their business to a new location where they can thrive once again.

It all started over 25 years ago when a guy name Nick opened up a store to sell off props and collectibles from old Hollywood movie sets. Fast forward to 2017, and Nick Metropolis Collectibles had become an institution- an iconic landmark on the corner of LaBrea avenue in Los Angeles, California. Dubbed “The King of Collectibles” by the LA Times,  Nick knew he was going to need a lot of help as the rent in this ever-changing neighborhood continued to skyrocket and the unusual rains kept street traffic from popping in. His friends and family quickly lept into action and created a GoFundMe campaign to help bring in the funds needed to recuperate. They are continuing to raise funds upwards of $6,400 and hope to raise enough to cover the back rents that Nick owes so he can keep the doors to this quirky and quintessential shop wide open for the public to enjoy.

Ready to make an impact?

Let’s face it, life can be challenging. It’s the memories we make in the places we hold dear that enrich our day-to-day and the relationships we forge along the way that make it so incredible. Regardless of the reason your beloved corner shop is falling upon tough times, the solution is the common denominator in the equation to help them bounce back. That, plain and simply, is the capital required for the business to rebound to the good old days. Help your favorite local business stay in business, and thrive– by starting a GoFundMe campaign today.
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