When I was 10 or 11 years old, my cousin won a local radio contest and was chosen to take a coveted ride on an elephant during the Ringling Brothers circus show at a local venue.
“Why can’t I ever win a contest like that?” I complained to my mother. “You should just be happy for her,” my very Catholic mother replied.
A few days later, we learned that my cousin also received a batch of tickets to the circus as part of her prize. Her parents sent three tickets to my house and my brothers and I were able to go to the circus free. We didn’t win the big prize, but we all benefitted from her good fortune.
It sounds simplistic, but that’s how we need to look at businesses that are succeeding during the national health crisis. When at least some businesses do well in a capitalist society, they help others survive.
My banker friend reminds me that while struggling individuals and businesses are accepting much-needed government payouts, the thriving businesses are paying taxes to help cover the costs of those payouts. These thriving businesses also are employing people, and they’re probably serving your needs.
So which businesses are doing well or thriving?
Amazon is crushing it, of course. And as forbes.com points out, online streaming entertainment of any sort — from Netflix to Quibi (the new short-form mobile video platform) — are flying.
The U. S. Chamber of Commerce has just published a list of 10 small businesses that are thriving right now. The list includes:
Not surprisingly, professional cleaning services that sanitize offices, restaurants and homes are in high demand.
Liquor and wine stores
Bars in most states have been deemed “non-essential businesses” and have closed. But the demand for booze has not lessened, so local liquor and wine stores have dramatically increased sales.
Nationwide food delivery services and corporate retail deliveries have been the largest beneficiary, but local delivery services — even those that have just opened — have seen strong demand. It seems people are willing to pay for delivery of almost anything sold at a retailer.
Drive-in movie theaters
Since most regular movie theaters are closed, drive-in movie theaters have seen a substantial uptick in business. Not all states are permitting drive-in theaters to be open, but they have an advantage because they allow people to take in a show from their own car and provide a way for families to get out of the house.
No surprise here. Families are stocking up on goods and eating at home. If you have personally visited a grocery store lately, you can attest to the demand.
Others on the Chamber’s top ten list
- Canned and jarred goods companies
- Fitness equipment companies
- Landscaping and yard care companies
- Meal prep delivery services
- Game makers and sellers
If you can start, open or partner with a business that is succeeding now — you might want to try that option. If you offer services that a thriving business could use — you can certainly pursue that avenue.
But even if you have none of those options, you can at least be happy the thriving businesses are keeping the economy going until your business returns.
Even if you don’t get the elephant ride, you’ll probably still get to go to the circus.