On September 28, 2020 Fortune Magazine reported that almost 100,000 businesses had already been permanently closed this year because of government ordered COVID-19 lockdowns. They also reported that as many as 1 out of 5 businesses nationwide would not survive to the end of this year. Yelp data shows that 60% of overall business closures were permanent. The vast majority of the impacted businesses were, and continue to be, local family-owned businesses. When local family-owned businesses go under, not only are the families that own and run those businesses destroyed financially, emotionally and psychologically, but so too are the employees and the employees’ families who depended on those jobs for their livelihood and their survival. The impact is devastating.

Conversely, for big businesses and big box stores like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and others, this has been one of the most prosperous times in history. Even in our industry, mega solar companies like Sunrun, Vivint, Tesla, and others are taking advantage of the situation to enrich themselves. However, none of these companies provide as high a quality of workmanship and accountability to their customers as a local family-owned business does, and they do virtually nothing for the local community. In fact, consumer feedback has shown time and again that the overall quality of their workmanship and their accountability to their customers is substantially lower than it is with a local family-owned business.

The team members of our local family-owned business, 180 Solar Power, have been proudly serving the southern California community for decades. As such, we ask you to please support 180 Solar Power and other highly regarded local family-owned businesses by patronizing, hiring and referring us to others. Not only will you get a higher quality of workmanship and accountability because of our close geographic proximity to you and our long-standing commitment to the community, but on top of that, when you support local family-owned businesses you enhance the quality, strength and vibrancy of the community you live and work in.

Another excellent way to support local family-owned businesses, other than patronizing, hiring and referring them, is by helping them spread their messages. Local family-owned businesses don’t have the advertising dollars to complete with the multi-million-dollar budgets of the big box companies, and therefore tend to focus on trying to spread their messages organically through social media and word of mouth. So even if you are not in immediate need of the services of a particular local family-owned business in your community, you can still help support them, and support the overall health of your local community by sharing their messages and social media content whenever possible.

Local family-owned businesses have long been the backbone of America, representing almost 50% of annual US GPD year over year. Furthermore, companies with fewer than 100 workers account for 98% of all US businesses, and companies with less than 20 workers represent an astounding 89% of all US businesses. Which is why, when local family-owned businesses thrive, we all benefit.

Speaking on behalf of myself and all the employees and families of 180 Solar Power, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the years, and we are thankful that we can count on you in the future. However, its never been more important than it is right now to do everything you can to support local family-owned businesses by considering them first in every purchasing decision that you make.

I wish everyone a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season, and once again, thank you for your support!