Small business

The heart of American culture can be found in small, local businesses. While many have been forced to close their door, amidst the global pandemic, COVID-19, people have stepped up to creatively get the word out about their businesses.

More handmade signs are found in corporate businesses, shops are lit up with special colors, and have multiple pieces of 8.5 x 11″ pieces of paper, forming the word ‘OPEN’ sharing they are still in business.

At the same time, digital media has increased tenfold; ask any social media/marketing/ brand manager–they probably haven’t slept in weeks. The times are demanding more innovation on quickly sharing a message, whether the news be good, bad or constantly evolving each day.

People are collaborating across communities, and standard policies to come together to support their loved ones and friends. Likewise, over the past month, I’ve seen businesses promoting other businesses, increased project collaboration, people buying more local food and goods; these things help small business, thrive.

Some of my favorite commercials as of late, focus on real people doing the extraordinary in times like this. Whether that’s grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor, or working the frontlines of the pandemic.

It’s small acts of kindness making an impact, too. People are ordering pizza from the local neighborhood, instead of a large chain. We are finding more opportunities to stretch a dollar into making a difference at home and around our streets.

Recently, in the Midwest (specifically, Milwaukee) multiple social media platforms have emerged in support of the community ranging from funding to marketing promotion. A platform on Instagram, called ‘Support Local MKE’ focuses on promoting all kinds of small business in the community.

While things may look different in our world now there’s so many ways we can all give back to our local communities:

  1. Buy from a local photographer a gift card for a future session.
  2. Support your local hair stylist by purchasing your hair care products.
  3. Buy a meal a few times a week from a different, local restaurant.
  4. Purchase coffee at your corner ‘mom and pop’ shop.
  5. Drop kindness in the mail to your favorite local business.
  6. Share a post on social media, comment or like a post made by a person in your community.

Together, with these small acts, we can truly make an impact to do great things for the places we call home.


  • Alyce Peterson

    Digital Media, Board Member, Communications Professional,

    Board Member & Membership Director at AIGA Wisconsin

    Currently, I'm a Digital Media Strategist for a Top 25 Global Fortune 500 company in Milwaukee, WI. Also, I volunteer with a neurodiversity non-profit and serve on a volunteer board as Membership Director. For the last several years, I've owned my own photography business. In which time, I've been published on Google's Instagram, Getty Images iStock, various publications, and more.