Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, especially on a local level. If small businesses can’t stay afloat, a community’s economy can completely shut down.
Because of this, whole towns can be lost when communities don’t support small businesses. And now, Covid-19 has hit everyone extra hard. Small businesses in every location are struggling to survive.
That’s why we want to show everyone how to do their part in saving small businesses. Here are our top seven tips.
1. Shop Locally Online
Before you head to Amazon or Walmart.com, remember your local businesses.
Most of them have adapted to offer their goods and services online. Search for local businesses that have what you need. Then, check to see if you can order from their websites.
This applies to businesses of all types. You can likely even find a mechanic who will come to your house to repair your chipped windshield, for example.
Plus, these businesses might be hurting right now, so they’re going to be competitive. That means you’ll get deals that are comparable to big names like Amazon, and maybe even better ones. You may be surprised to see free same-day shipping on the items you need when ordering from local businesses.
2. Stock Up on Gift Cards
On the other hand, maybe you can’t get what you need from your favorite local business right now. There’s an answer for that, too: gift cards.
If you (and your friends) stock up on gift cards now, small businesses on lockdown can still receive some income. Hopefully, it’s enough to tide them over until they’re able to open again. Then you can use your gift cards to stock up on local goods.
And don’t forget to buy gift cards for your friends and coworkers for special occasions. It’s a great way to stick to your budget and support a small business at the same time.
3. Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Here’s one way you can support small businesses without spending any money at all: word-of-mouth advertising.
This type of advertising helps all businesses. And it’s even more important for those who can’t afford to pay for advertising right now.
Go to review sites like Google, Bing and Yelp to share your positive experience. That way, anyone searching for the business online sees the high rating and is more likely to spend their money supporting them.
Think back on local goods and services you’ve purchased in the past. Were you satisfied with your purchase? If so, then write a positive review!
Also, tell your friends and share your testimony on social media. Follow the business’s social media accounts, too.
4. Partner With Other Local Businesses
If you’re a small business owner, you’re not alone in this struggle. Right now, it’s important for all small businesses to put some of their competitiveness aside and support each other.
Work together with other local businesses to organize mutually beneficial events. If permitted in your location, these can be in-person events like a trade show or a community fair. Otherwise, they can be online, like a one-day sale that all the local businesses advertise together.
5. Order Takeout (and Don’t Forget to Tip)
The official safety protocols protecting restaurant foods are just as strict as those protecting groceries. Still, many local restaurants are struggling because of undue paranoia over the risk of infection from takeout food. Plus, the fact that most restaurants have had to close or limit their dining areas.
In any case, local restaurants need support. Treat your family to a meal from the contactless curbside pickup area of your favorite restaurant. Or have it delivered to your door!
If possible, try to order directly from the restaurant instead of a delivery app so they get all the revenue.
6. Support Local Farms
Everyone has to buy groceries. Instead of getting your items at Walmart or a big box store, get them from a locally owned market that buys from local farmers.
Better yet, skip the grocery store altogether and buy straight from the farmers in your area. Attend the local farmers market for eggs and produce.
You might not be able to replace everything with local food, but anything you can buy in your community will be fresher and go right back into helping small businesses.
Support Small Businesses With These Steps
Our economy needs small businesses. And our small businesses need you. Remember this guide and support small businesses in your area when you shop.