Small businesses have been hit extremely hard by the pandemic. Regardless of industry every small business has had to completely shift the way they do business by moving things online. That transition involved investing money in online infrastructure including websites and web-based sales platforms. It also involved increased costs due to shipping product across town or the country. Our local businesses need our help to stay alive, if we want our communities to look anything like they did a year ago. We need to continue to support small businesses even as we slowly come out of the pandemic. Here are four ways to support your local business.
Shop Local … Online
For almost a year I hadn’t been in a coffee shop, movie theater, brewery or restaurant. These places have traditionally relied on people like me to keep the lights on. I miss the sense of community when I grab coffee at a local shop or a craft beer at a local brewery. If you’re missing those interactions too, go online to support them. Many local shops have an e-commerce presence or have begun to offer ways to support them with just the click of a button.
Gift cards are an easy way to financially support your local small business. They also work great as gifts for friends and family. If you don’t need anything personally, consider purchasing a gift card for future browsing. Many small shops missed out on life-sustaining revenue around Easter, Fathers Day, Mother’s Day, and graduations. A lot of local retail live and die by the holidays.
Curbside or Delivery
Since last March many restaurants have shifted to online delivery and curbside service. Some restaurants and bars that didn’t previously offer takeout have started doing so, to keep their employees safe and their businesses afloat. Scientists have found that ordering from restaurants is very low-risk, so now’s the time to break out the menus and start ordering. If you can, order directly from the restaurant so they don’t have to pay costly cuts to third-party delivery services. Ordering online helps service-based businesses who are in great need of revenue.
Be sure and like your favorite local small businesses on social media channels. Give them a positive review if you had a good experience with that business. Be sure and post on your own social media channels about your favorite small businesses.
And while getting an online shoutout doesn’t feel quite the same as a handshake from your favorite bartender, it’s something. Consider sharing stories of your favorite local spots.
Small businesses the ones the community goes to when they need something and now, they need our support.
Now, more than ever before, it is so important to support your local businesses – and you can have fun while you do! Whether you order a delicious meal, add to your attire, or connect with local business owners, your support will make a difference.