Local businesses are essential to our economy. They bring growth and innovation to our communities. They provide jobs, create entrepreneurial opportunities and support the local economy, communities and neighbourhoods.
They also care about their community. They know their customers by name; they are our neighbours and friends. They make our cities special and unique.
Most are currently facing financial difficulties and are worried about the future. However, if you do need to buy something, try your local store first. If you still have an income, order from your favorite restaurant once a week
Ways to help small local businesses
If you can afford it, tip the restaurant staff and deliverers during this time. This helps them make up for some of their loss of income and helps their employers feel a little less stressed out.
Send a friendly message
A little friendliness goes a long way, especially in stressful times of the year. If you can’t fund small local businesses, send them a quick message via email or on social media so they know how much you appreciate it. You could do a team day.
Be patient when ordering products or services from small local businesses that have not got the same large stale systems in place like bigger businesses. If shipping is taking longer than expected or the delivery process isn’t going smoothly, stay calm and friendly during your interactions.
Ask small local business owners how you can help
Some business owners may need help in areas other than the obvious. If you know entrepreneurs in your area or online, contact them and ask if they need anything in particular. Even if they don’t, they’ll likely appreciate the thought.
Create a community organization
If you want to support local small businesses in your area and involve others, consider starting a community fund or a support group. You can raise funds or contribute creative ideas to help local businesses. Use social networks or local forums to facilitate conversations with other people close to you.
Start a local corporate directory
Create an online directory that will make it easy for employees to find companies that can help them get more exposure to local small businesses in your area. You can even keep it after pedestrian traffic is restored for a faster recovery.
Reschedule and don’t cancel any events that you want to host in the small local business
Small local businesses running events depend on the event’s income to stay in business. With event cancellations happening daily, this can be terrible for locally owned event space.
If you have to cancel an event, postpone it instead of requesting a refund. Make a real effort to get back to this business if you can.
Offer your services
Think about the skills you might offer small local businesses voluntarily. Are you a web designer? A financial genius? You may be able to use these skills to help small business in areas they might not be able to aford.
Reach out to small local business owners you have a relationship with who need help and provide free advice. This is a good time to focus on things like strategy, content marketing, email marketing, social media strategy, and internal processes.
So if you have any expertise in any of these areas, reach out to physical small local business owners and give them advice. Investing in these areas during the downtime will help them increase their bottom line and get started when operations return to normal.
Contribute to crowdfunding campaigns
All over the country, people are launching crowdfunding campaigns to help small businesses and their employees in need of financial assistance. Search GoFundMe or social media for causes you can help with.
If you can’t afford to donate, or if a campaign for your favorite local business hasn’t started, you might be the one to get one. First, find out from the company what their needs are.
Leave positive reviews
Are there businesses in your area that you have always wanted to give a review for and have never had to? This wasted time at home is the perfect opportunity to gather social evidence and improve your online rankings. And it’s free.
You can also help by telling others about your favorite small businesses through text, phone calls, or video calls.
Try buying the larger items
Many small businesses offer financing or storage options for larger purchases. Don’t buy items that you cannot afford, but if you are looking to buy something anyway, now is a good time to get a great price and keep your favorite stores flowing.
And a few small suggestions: for restaurants, order take-out or delivery instead of giving up the food entirely. If you don’t have to pay online but in person, you should consider paying with a chip card with chip readers. This significantly limits exposure to germs for you and the hourly staff.
If you know someone who owns a small local business, check them out and make sure they are ok. It’s a stressful time for everyone, but add the potential economic impact and it could be terrible for some people in our communities so any support they could get psychological and practical at this point could be important.
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