As small businesses owners (and those they employ) around the world are facing difficult times due to the impact of social distancing, here’s a creative list of small ways we can make a big impact in helping our local businesses. We are all in this together, and the reality is that if we want the restaurants, shops, and local services we value so much to be available when things are stable again, they need our support now.
Support Small Business
Help get the word out- NOW is the time to like, share, re-post and give a shout-out to all your favorite small businesses or new ones that you come across. Share their shop websites, social media posts, and discounts so that you can help them get the word out about their products and services.
- Buy online purchases directly from small businesses as much as possible- Before ordering from big online stores, consider the small businesses in your area that might offer the same items. Yes, you may need to pay a few extra dollars or wait another day or two for shipping, but enough people making these small changes could be the difference between local shops surviving the season or having to permanently close their doors.
- Support businesses that have gone online with virtual classes- Many artists and local classes that would have been held in person are now being held online instead. Now is a great time to learn something new and support a local teacher or artist who makes their income from teaching classes.
- Order take-out/ meal kits- Depending on your city’s social distancing regulation will determine what is safe for your town, but many restaurants are now offering meal kids and take-out as a safer alternative to dining in. You may need to order on the phone if they don’t have an online set-up, but call and ask if there are options.
- Leave positive reviews- Leaving a positive review is one of the best ways to help your local businesses. Most people read reviews when deciding who to give their business, and your positive review could help drive business to a local shop.
- Buy gift cards- Can’t go to your favorite restaurant or shop? Buy a gift card! This is potentially one of the best ways to help besides buying product online to support businesses through this season, and an easy way to plan ahead for the outings and purchases you will make once things have become more stable.
- Buy birthday presents and gifts ahead- This is great time to shop online for birthday presents and other gifts you will buy eventually. We often want to plan ahead, but now is a great time to actually do it and make a big difference in the lives of small business owners by doing so!
- Reschedule instead of cancelling- If you know you will need a service eventually, rescheduling instead of cancelling can be great way to show your small businesses you will still stick around when it is safe to go out again and that you will continue to be a loyal customer.
Go the Extra Mile
- Send a note of encouragement- Many of our local business owners become family. Chances are these coming weeks and months will be hard for them as they scramble to find ways to adapt. Send them a quick message of encouragement to remind them how you still value them and will support them through this.
- Pay in advance for services you would usually receive- If you are able, pay in advance for services and goods you know you will use eventually. If they don't want you to do that, buy a gift certificate to make it official.
- Don’t ask for refunds- Did you pay for something that got cancelled? If you can, consider NOT asking for a refund to help offset all the refund requests they have piling up.
- Tip extra- A bigger tip is a great way to show you care and to provide a little extra to people that depend on this money to make ends meet. Tips become especially important when there is significantly less business and thus less people they are serving.
- Donate- Want to do something extra special? Consider donating to your favorite businesses with no strings attached...just an act of kindness to help them and encourage your small business people.
- Be Patient- We are all trying to make adjustments due to our new circumstances, including small businesses, many that don’t have online systems in place to take online orders etc. and are still trying to figure things out just like we are. Your patience and continued support makes all the difference!
Please share these ideas and encourage those you know to join in the effort to take care of our communities together by supporting small businesses!