Small businesses have big impacts on their local economies. We know this because when a small business owner makes money, they typically reinvest that revenue right back into the economy. So, when you make a purchase from a small business in your area, you are also helping to stimulate the economy.
Now more than ever, your favorite small businesses need your support. Many have been forced to change the way they do business or close their doors temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even though you might not be able to sit down to eat at their restaurant right now or shop in their store, there are still ways you can help!
Here are ten ways to help your local small businesses during this difficult time.
1. Purchase Gift CardsThis is a big one. If there is a restaurant, store, salon, or other small business you would typically frequent – purchase a gift card to support them today for purchases you will physically make in the future. Visit their website or company social media page to see if they are offering digital gift cards or have options for mailing physical cards. If you don’t see any information listed, try emailing or calling to ask if you can purchase a gift card.
2. Order Carry-Out or DeliveryMany restaurants are still offering carry-out and delivery options. By simply purchasing a meal or two a week, you can make a big difference for restaurants in your area. Make a list of the restaurants that you would like to support, and order in as much as you can.
3. Post a Social Media Shout OutFinancially supporting small businesses is wonderful, but it’s not the only way you can show your support. If you’re concerned about your own finances during this time, show your support in other ways, like posting a shout out on social media. Let your friends know how much you love these small businesses, and they may find ways to help too.
4. Purchase Products Online or By PhoneSome small businesses have moved their operations online or are offering curbside pickup or delivery for purchases. If there’s a store you love or a salon that sells your favorite haircare products, try reaching out to see if they are offering curbside or delivery options. Chances are, they’ll go out of their way to help you help them. We’re all in this together!
5. Leave Positive ReviewsPosting positive reviews is another free way to show your support! While you’re spending extra time at home, grab that list of your favorite local businesses and spend some time leaving kind words for them online. This can help boost their online rankings and encourage others to check them out once things return to normal.
6. Contribute to Crowdfunding CampaignsSome businesses have started crowdfunding campaigns on sites like GoFundMe to raise money for bills and payroll. If you have the resources, consider donating to these causes. (Make sure to contact the business first to confirm that the campaign you are donating to is legitimate!) You can also take this opportunity to start your own funding campaign to support local businesses.
7. Tip GenerouslyIf you can order carry-out or delivery from your favorite local restaurants, please tip generously! Your tips can help restaurant staff make up for some of the regular earnings they have lost due to current restrictions.
8. Have PatienceIf you have to wait longer for your meal to be delivered or the shipping on an order takes longer than usual, please be patient. Many businesses had to make changes they did not expect very quickly, and there will be a learning curve associated with that. Be kind in your interactions and stay calm if your order doesn’t arrive exactly on time.
9. Choose Local Stores Over ChainsIf you can, try to make your purchases from local stores instead of chain stores. Chains like Target, Lowe’s, and Bath & Body Works may have more convenient shipping options, but local businesses need your support more than these national brands. Going out of your way to try to help them is important and incredibly kind.
10. Ask Businesses How You Can HelpWe’ve mentioned this a few times, but it bears repeating. Reach out to your local businesses and ask how you can help them! Calling, emailing, or even messaging them on social media with empathy for their situation and an offer to help can mean so much. Even if there isn’t anything you can do right now, it will lift their spirits to know that there are people like you out there who care about their business and are eager to visit again.
Above all, remember to support one another during this time. There are so many things we can do to help each other, and it all matters. Whether you’re able to support a local business or not, you can make a difference. So, video chat with your friend who lives alone, or maybe offer to go to the store for your elderly neighbor. If we all put people first, we’ll get through this together.
Check out our other blog posts for more resources to help you and the businesses you support through COVID-19.
Source: Small Biz Trends