The coronavirus pandemic has shifted the complete dynamic of our lifestyle. So many of us lost jobs, financial security and livelihoods to the dangerous virus. But small and local businesses were hit the hardest. And even though the duniya is coming back to the new “normal”, these locals are still struggling to get back on their feet.
You’ve already heard “vocal for local” for promoting Indie business online and offline, but in this article, you will learn 10 ways you can actually make a difference. Because just being vocal is not enough, you need to take action to help them.
Small businesses greatly impact both your community and the economy. Supporting local businesses has a noticeable effect on your neighbours as well. When you make a purchase from local businesses and small ventures, the money is more than likely to go back to other local businesses such as banks, service providers, and farms.
Additionally, small businesses create more jobs compared to mega businesses. So you’re supporting more people than you realise. Small businesses are also more responsible and give back to the neighbourhood. Choosing to patronise small, neighbourhood businesses are also beneficial to the environment. Small business stores produce smaller carbon footprints, and the local supply of goods and services will have less of an impact on the environment.
Here are 10 ways you can show your love and support to local businesses.
10 Ways To Help Local Businesses
1. Shop Local
The first and foremost step is to shop locally. Simple hai na? It’s already stated how investing money in local businesses keeps the money in your community and how you’re supporting not just one person but a whole system of people who are working behind the doors.
Additionally, when you support small businesses, you also:
- Discover new and useful locally-made products.
- Make personal connections with small business store owners.
- Gain a deeper product knowledge as the owner selling the item is more likely to have made it or been the person to choose it for the store’s shelves.
- Greater consumer experience. Local shop owners are friendlier and more helpful.
2. Tip The Small Businesses
Throughout 2020, a lot of small companies have experienced difficulties, as have their employees. Retailers, restaurants, and other small companies nearby are probably having difficulty filling positions even as operations have resumed following pandemic shutdowns. Therefore, by leaving a generous tip, you can assist those neighbourhood workers in making up for lost hours or slow business.
3. Follow Them Online
One trend that picked up after the pandemic was local shops and retailers opening their e-commerce websites, Instagram handles and blogs to attract more customers. You will often find their handles put up around their stores and outlets. Give them a follow, like their content and subscribe. This will also be helpful for you too, you get to know whenever there is a new product or a flash sale going on.
This brings us to the next tip…
4. Share Share Share Them on Social Media
Everyone loves a good recommendation. And occasionally, supporting your favourite small business is as simple as clicking “share” on their most recent social media post. Share their Instagram posts on your stories, retweet and share Facebook posts with your friends. This way someone new might end up discovering their store and something, which means you’ve directly made a difference! How cool is that? Even if you inspire no new sales, you make an impact by promoting their business.
5. Order Takeout
Due to pandemic restrictions, the rules and regulations had been stricter than before. How restaurants and food stores conducted their business was under scrutiny. Restaurants have been among the worst-hit industries in recent years. Fortunately, many were able to jump back in by changing direction and providing more online ordering and takeaway choices to their customers.
Consider ordering takeout from a nearby neighbourhood restaurant to show your support. To minimise interaction and properly deliver your meal to you, many restaurants have developed contactless dropoff or curbside pickup systems.
6. Purchase Gift Cards
Who says you have to buy something right away to support your favourite local store? Gift cards are a fantastic way to support a small business by purchasing something for yourself or your friend in the future. This is a fantastic idea for your nearby boutiques, favourite eateries, and supply stores. Additionally, a lot of small businesses now let you buy gift cards online, saving you the trip to the store. By purchasing gift cards, you can help boost the local economy and the revenue of that company.
7. Leave A Good Review
What is the first thing you do when you want to travel to new places and try something? You pull out Google reviews and decide if it’s worth visiting. You can write reviews for your favourite small business online. And the best thing? It’s completely free. You’re only investing a few minutes. Small businesses highly rely on such reviews. Reviews have a significant impact on potential customers, just like your friend recommending you to check out a place around the corner. In the case of reviews, even when the person making the purchase doesn’t know you, they will still take your review into consideration before making their decision. Brownie points if you include aesthetic pictures of food, products or the setting of the store in your reviews.
8. Donate To A Local Non-Profit
The effects of the corona crisis have without a doubt affected non-profit companies. Non-profit organisations had to deal with a rapid drop in volunteers, cancellation of fundraising activities, and, for some, a drop in donations as a result of the financial crisis due to the loss of jobs and significant salary cuts. A nearby non-profit will appreciate your contribution very much.
You can also double the good you do by purchasing a gift card from a local store and giving it to a non-profit.
9. Thank & Appreciate Them
There are many reasons to be grateful for small businesses. Every year, they add tons of new employment opportunities, offer personalised customer service, and help your neighbourhood. Thank them for always putting their best foot forward and helping you with all your needs.
10. Do One Of These Every Week
Ideally, in the best case, you would want to frequently make purchases from small local businesses. If that is not on your agenda, you can definitely visit their social media pages to like their posts and read and share their blog pages. Recommend the company to all your friends and family. Maintain contact. Share your thoughts on your social media account and promote it to all your mutuals.
The pandemic really shook us all and everyone is adjusting to the new reality. If spreading a little love at the expense of your little time helps someone, why back out? #BeALittleMore considerate of your community and shop locally. Help native entrepreneurs and business owners flourish their trade.
So, how are you planning to support the small businesses near you?
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