Small companies in Omaha nonetheless need assistance and help
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses of all types, especially small locally owned businesses that rely on community support. Due to COVID-19, many have been forced to lay off employees, reduce working hours or shut down completely. Many more have adjusted to keep the revenue going.
One such company is Spielbound Board Game Cafe on 33rd and Harney Streets. It is the largest playable board game library in the country. Guests can also purchase local coffees and beers to enjoy while they are out.
Coronavirus closed Spielbound’s doors in March, but reopened with a new business model in August. While people are still allowed to sit inside and play a board game or two that require masks, Spielbound staff have completely redesigned the website and sold more games online.
“We went from a place where everyone was hanging out and social to put our board game store online. We have never done that before,” said Spielbound director Kaleb Michaud.
In the name of safety and convenience, the company also added curb and delivery options for customers. Michaud is counting on the community to keep the unique business from closing. He says that people who come through Omaha come to Spielbound to see for themselves.
“If we can’t do that, it won’t be,” said Michaud. “These games will go elsewhere, they will likely be sold and sent to other places around the country. It really is one of the many treasures we have here. Omaha has so many wonderful little businesses worth staying close by. “
Boyd Redinbaugh owns The Simple Man off the Pacific in Country Side Village. It is a retail store that stocks men’s clothing, toiletries, gifts, and more. Redinbaugh hopes the coronavirus pandemic has shifted focus back to small businesses.
“There are a lot of companies my size that haven’t made it that far, so we definitely feel blessed,” said Redinbaugh.
His business never closed, but business slowed down. So, too, he created a greater online presence and experience for his customers, many of whom he knows by name, and added roadside delivery and collection.
“I think these small businesses give people the opportunity to connect and interact on a daily basis, and that’s what you see here,” said Redinbaugh. “As big companies grow, that’s exactly what you lose. You gain convenience, but lose personal connection. The vast majority of small businesses provide customer service that these larger businesses simply cannot provide. “
These are just two of the hundreds, if not thousands, of locally owned small businesses struggling to stay afloat. And you can do your part to help them.
Skip the big box stores this year and spend local dollars on local businesses. They need your support. Plus, when you shop locally, you’re supporting the local economy.
For these small businesses, a little help can go a long way.
“If you know someone who owns a small business, or if there’s a small business that you wanted to patronize, now is the time,” said Redinbaugh.
A great opportunity to give back to local businesses is November 28: Small Business Saturday. Then you can get good offers and discounts in your participating shops on site.
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