How To Support Your Local Small Businesses During These Challenging Times
Updated: Jul 23, 2021
The coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has impacted our lives in ways we are still trying to accept and understand. As many of us work from home or exercise safety precautions while in the workplace, limit our time spent in public areas, and adjust our buying habits, we are temporarily embracing a new way of life as we stand together and battle through this crisis.
For many small businesses, a crisis of this magnitude can be challenging, if not devastating.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration 2018 Small Business Profile, there are approximately 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, providing jobs for more than 58 million employees. Many of those small business owners are trying to creatively figure out how to adjust their businesses so that they can maintain revenues and keep their dedicated employees employed.
You may not be able to visit your favorite shop, salon, spa or bar but you can support your small business community without leaving your house.
How do we continue to support the small businesses and nonprofits in our communities?
Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to support a small business. Buy one now and get yourself something in the future. Or give them as gifts. Purchasing gift cards is ideal for your local boutiques, favorite restaurants, spas or pet supply shops. Many small businesses offer the option to purchase gift cards online, saving you the trip to the store.
Shop Locally – Online.
If your favorite small businesses offer online shopping, consider getting a head start on any upcoming birthdays, holidays, graduations or “I’m thinking about you” purchases. You will be able to check off something on your to-do list while also helping a small business get through a tough time.
Many small businesses are switching to online purchasing as a result of COVID-19 so look them up, you may be pleasantly surprised to find they are now listing the products you love, online.
Some small local businesses are remaining open during the health crisis because they are considered essential businesses. This includes grocery stores, pharmacies, pet supply stores, trade contractors, accountants, law offices and more. If you feel comfortable leaving your home and are healthy to do so, consider doing your grocery shopping from a local grocer and get the services you need from small businesses in your area. You will still be providing for your family but will also be helping the owners of these small businesses support their families too.
One request, while it is smart to stock up on essentials in a crisis, please do not hoard. Hoarding just means your neighbor won’t have any and this includes all of our neighbors depending on food banks to survive.
Order takeout or delivery
Many states across the country have implemented a mandate to close restaurants for eat-in options, recommending takeout or delivery as the safer and more sanitary alternative.
Consider supporting a local restaurant near you by ordering delivery. It may make the difference as to whether they survive the crisis.
Tip a little more
COVID-19 is crippling service and hourly workers economically. Many of these employees rely upon daily tips to increase their weekly wages.
If you are able, tip a little more to help our service workers. If businesses near you are offering discounts or free delivery in response to COVID-19, you can take the money you saved and add it to your normal tip. You will be supporting one of your favorite small businesses and one of your neighbors.
Leave a positive review online
Small businesses rely heavily on reviews. You know this as a consumer. When you are looking for a service provider and you see one only has two stars online versus one that has five stars you probably pick the business with a five-star review.
With a couple of minutes of free time while social distancing, it is the perfect time to hop on Google My Business, Facebook or Yelp to share a kind comment about your experience with a local business.
Donate to a local nonprofit
Nonprofits are frequently helping members of our community who are in need of services. Nonprofits are significantly impacted by a crisis because the amount of people needing help usually increases and funds to provide this support often decreases. If you are able, volunteer your time and/or talents. Or, purchase a gift card from your local shop and donate it to a nonprofit that can use it. You will provide the local shop with immediate revenue and give the nonprofit resources they desperately need.
Give a shout out
It is as easy as clicking “share” on your favorite small business social media posts. Or, share one of their posts to your Facebook feed or Twitter account. If someone you know makes a purchase at this small business, you have helped them just by giving a shout out.
Many of your local small businesses may be offering alternative products and/or services. Take a minute to check in on some of your community favorite businesses to see if there are virtual workout services, hair coloring kits, plexiglass shields or remote legal services you could use.
Take good care of yourself, your neighbors and your loved ones while possibly implementing a few of these ideas to help support the small businesses in your community.