Anderson: Amazon is ruining small businesses across the nation

Especially+due+to+the+ongoing+COVID-19+pandemic%2C+Amazon+has+seen+an+increase+in+their+sites+purchases.+, Inc., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Especially due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon has seen an increase in their site’s purchases.

By Hayden Anderson, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

In today’s society, especially in a COVID-19-filled world, if we need something that we typically cannot find in stores, we usually go to Amazon. From TVs to groceries, Amazon stocks everything that anyone could need. This Black Friday, Amazon had a record number of purchases, and they most likely will continue to see increased spending during this holiday season. Consequently, small, local businesses will be adversely affected by people’s increased usage of retailers such as Amazon. Even though Amazon has made many acts towards small businesses, such as donating $100 million to these businesses, they only use these acts for publicity stunts and they actually only care about how much money they make from bankrupting businesses.

With the installment of Amazon Fresh in 2007, where customers can order groceries online for delivery, all stores have competition and have the chance of going bankrupt. Many services since then have been made from Amazon. In 2013, Amazon launched Amazon Smile, a way for customers to buy the items they want and support an organization they choose; however, instead of Amazon donating these funds themselves, they donate through their customers’ money. This service allows customers to buy what they want while at the same time giving 0.5% of their purchase to support local businesses and/or other organizations.

In November 2020, Amazon reported having donated $236,903,641.58 to charities worldwide. According to Amazon Smile, over 200 million dollars have been donated to help the small businesses around the U.S. survive; however, this is not the case for many of these small businesses. With these competitors, over 50% of small businesses have failed this year. Due to Amazon’s strict policy for money, they don’t use this money to help small businesses, but instead to get tax write offs to help their own business.

Nearly five years after the launch of Amazon Smile, Amazon started a new service on their website that allows people to shop from local stores all around the US. From shampoo made in the mountains to masks made in the desert, local businesses are selling their products on Amazon and establishing nation-wide consumer bases.

This is a great idea in theory but horrible in practice, as many of these local businesses are failing drastically. According to the National Business and Capital Services, it is reported that 50% of local business startups last five years and only 30% last 10 years. In addition, 42% of those failed businesses failed due to not having any business. Why is it that these many small businesses fail after countless hours of work that are put into it? The answer is these services are provided by Amazon. While these services are great ideas for Amazon and customers of Amazon, they destroy local businesses and lives. 

While these percentages seem like a lot as it is, Amazon is just adding on to the already dying businesses due to COVID-19. As many people don’t want to shop and buy off of Amazon during the pandemic, Amazon’s sales boom while these businesses go in the drain. 

How can we fix these businesses from bankrupt to back where they were before? Well, one of the answers is to start buying merchandise from many of the small businesses around town. These people work so hard on their inventory, especially those who have to handcraft theirs, such as pottery and paintings. These owners create beautiful pieces of work, and there is no reason for them to go out of business; however, they do, and one of the only reasons why is because of online corporations that cause people to buy things online instead of going to stores and physically buying items.

Another answer is to stop supporting these businesses that destroy people’s jobs and lives. They put too much work into this merchandise to have to go and pack it all up because a website like Amazon made them go out of business. In addition, people need to start voicing what is happening to these businesses because it is simply not right. There are people all over losing jobs from simple things such as people not wanting to get up, get in their car and drive into town. It is not acceptable anymore.

Whether you like it or not, many jobs are leaving because of Amazon. In just a blink of an eye, that pottery store down the road might be packing up and leaving the building. With another blink, that painting store might also be gone. In an instance, there will be nowhere to buy fantastic merchandise that is not found anywhere else. This merchandise is not made by machine, but by hand, making it unique for every piece that is made. So next time that you want to click that “proceed to check out” button on Amazon, remember that there are people losing jobs just because you did not want to drive to town and pick up items from that store that someone worked so hard to start up.

This story was originally published on The Vision MSMS on December 9, 2020.