In 2020 the coronavirus pandemic hit and the world as we know it changed. 12 months later and the end result is a new normal involving social distancing, sanitizer and staying-at-home.
During the early stages of the pandemic the supply of toilet paper and anti bacterial products weren’t the only things to plummet. The economy itself took a huge nosedive. The government announced lockdown orders which meant that local businesses wouldn’t be able to continue to trade as usual and would result in around 100,000 permanent closures and over a hundred thousand more currently temporarily closed.
Small businesses are at the heart of the community and help to bring people closer together. They help create local jobs providing employment to thousands of workers that would otherwise be unable to provide for themselves and their families.
As small businesses try to adapt to the new normal and stay afloat during these times, it becomes more of a social responsibility to help. By taking small steps we can do our part to help and put our money to good use.
Here are 5 practical ways to support local businesses during the pandemic…
1) Purchase From Local Businesses
Small businesses already have to deal with the losses early on from lockdown so we should do our part to ease the financial burden on them and support them. By buying from them directly you not only get provided with goods/services/ food etc. but you also get to help them continue to operate.
2) Check-In With The Local Business
By simply checking out their business you could find yourself a great deal and also checking-in with them in store once in a while can really boost morale. Who knows? Maybe they’re offering a service that they didn’t offer before.
3) Dedicate A Day For Local Purchases
Running a small business isn’t easy (especially during the pandemic). Declining sales, supply chain hindrances and strict operating procedures are the main reasons why small businesses are closing down.
It’s understandable that it’s hard to be strict about buying locally since not all of the items you want to purchase will be available in your local community. However, you could dedicate one day of the week in which you buy everything locally. You can also encourage other members of your friends and family to do the same. This will help boost local sales and give small businesses the opportunity to continue growing.
You can also do little things like instead of picking-up your local Starbucks order, you could opt in to getting it from a local mom-and-pop owned coffee place. For special occasions such as birthdays and celebrations, you could buy hand made cakes from your within your community. Keep in mind that most small businesses value orders that are placed ahead of time as they have enough time to prepare and fulfill incoming orders with ease.
4) Share On Social Media
We’re all guilty of excessively using social media throughout 2020. We can’t blame ourselves. It’s hard to stay productive when you’re staying in quarantine most of the days. Around the world, there were 3.61 billion social media users in 2020. Social media has helped us stay connected with the rest of the world and has helped us in sharing the pain experienced by so many during the pandemic.
You can use your online social media presence to help local businesses in your community as well. If you like some takeout from some locally owned restaurant, you can share their Facebook page or website to let your friends and family know they exist and are operational. Small businesses have relied heavily on social media for attention since not many people are roaming around searching for new places. A single share can boost their sales and help them through this tough time.
5) Be Understanding
Understand that they can only control so much (shipping, quality, etc) and are trying their best to keep things running. If you encounter an unsatisfactory service or product, be understanding and compassionate enough to not throw a tantrum on social media and give them negative reviews. Instead, speak to the owners directly. Many of them will resolve your issue in an instant and provide you with improved services in the future. Nothing brightens up the day of a local small business owner than the words “I understand”. Be compassionate!
History is being made. It might not look like much because we’re still going through it, but these little stories of compassion and perseverance will be told for decades to come. We all have our part to play. By helping your local small business community, you play your part in history by helping a student, a family and the community you call home.