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April 14, 2020

Five Ways to Support Local Businesses

The largest employer in the country? Small businesses.

From the jobs they create to the irreplaceable services they provide, small businesses are essential to the fabric of our communities. In these unprecedented times, we all want to help keep our local businesses afloat. If you find yourself with a surplus in your regular entertainment budget since you’ve been staying at home more, or are expecting a stimulus check and have the intention to spend it, consider spending the money locally. For those in this situation—with a bit of spending money and the desire to help out—we want to share a list of five ways to keep supporting local businesses, even while social distancing.

1. Order curbside pick-up or delivery.
Many restaurants and retailers are offering their products via curbside pickup or delivery. A lot of local businesses are even offering free delivery, especially in the restaurant industry, which has been particularly hard-hit by this pandemic. Ordering delivery is probably the easiest and most attainable way for the average person to lend their support. Think about ordering lunch or dinner a few days this week from your favorite local restaurant—a treat in the form of a break from cooking plus the added bonus of supporting a local business!

2. Tip service workers generously.
If the option to tip someone is available, consider going above and beyond. Whether you’re swinging through curbside pick-up or having a meal delivered to your door, consider adding a tip beyond the normal percentage to say thanks and help out.

3. Keep using services, if you can.
Do you typically pay for lawncare, tutoring, counseling, housekeeping or other service-based businesses? Consider continuing to pay your provider if you’re able—even if it’s at a lower frequency or for adapted services. For example, tutors may be doing online appointments or housekeepers offering sanitation-only services in place of full home cleanings. For those who have the means to continue supporting service businesses, your continued patronage could help keep them afloat.

4. Buy online or get a gift card.
For businesses that can’t operate normally due to the nature of their work, consider asking them about a gift certificate for services rendered at a later date to get some cash in their hands now. Visit the website of your favorite local shops to see if you can make a purchase online. If you have the means to plan ahead for future gifts or instances when you’ll want to buy something, think about making those purchases early to lend support to businesses now.

5. Leave a positive review.
Not everyone will have the financial means to participate in all of the above measures, and that’s okay. You can still support your local businesses, even indirectly. Consider leaving a positive review for businesses you’ve had past positive interactions with or sharing their contact information with friends and family on your social pages. Positive word-of-mouth and recommendations can go a long way.

Remember, we’re all in this situation together. Everything we do to help support each other, keep an eye out for our neighbors and lend a helping hand during this difficult time will help keep our communities strong.

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