National Small Business Week

The Small Business Administration has celebrated National Small Business Week for more than 50 years. This year, they celebrated virtually with the theme focusing on COVID-19 shutdowns, how entrepreneurs have pivoted, used government funding, and created innovative ways to survive. They also provided educational resources and keynote speakers sharing how they navigated the pandemic, the resources they used and the lessons they learned.

Approximately one-third of small businesses did not survive the pandemic. Businesses who closed ranged from a brand-new business who opened their doors in February 2020, to established businesses who had been around for generations. Our beloved Lakeland was not spared. We see too many shuttered storefronts or 404 websites that once proudly served our community.

Did you know that nearly half of Americans either own or work at a small business? The small businesses that closed, therefore, affected 47.3% of America’s workforce who worked for small businesses.

As we crawl our way out of this global pandemic, entrepreneurs are working double time to keep their business afloat, recover, and look forward to a strong future. As citizens of Lakeland, it is our job to do everything we can to support them.

Lakeland has a reputation for supporting our community in many ways! We hear a neighbor is in trouble, we help. We hear a neighbor has had a baby, won a championship or finished a goal, we celebrate! When the pandemic hit, we rallied together and supported our local restaurants. Let’s take that same spirit and continue to consciously support all our local entrepreneurs!

Ekim’s Place helps make it easier! We are an online directory of small businesses – with no big box competition getting in the way. We give entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their business, tell their story, and connect with consumers.

We are building this community for the consumer to easily find and support local businesses. We strive to change the way consumers think when purchasing products and services. Do you need printing services? A wrap for your car? A bicycle? Coffee? A place that sells bags, candles, or even door mats? In our world, Wal-Mart is hardly ever the answer! In our world, everyone shops locally for their weekly needs.

The next time you make your shopping list, take a second to think of what items could be purchased at a local business. You might be surprised when your Wal-Mart list has dwindled down to toilet paper and batteries.

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