With everything going on in the world right now, I figured I would put together some creative ideas on ways we can all support local businesses during this time. I also take great pride in being a small business myself and understand what a lot of businesses are going through right now. Despite the current circumstances, it has been fulfilling seeing everyone come together in one effort during this period of time and I have already been seeing many people supporting local businesses in some of various ways I’m going to talk about below.
We may not physically be together, but it feels like we’re more ‘together’ than ever right now. My heart goes out to all the businesses and employees within the restaurant, bar, airlines hotel and entertainment industry who will see the greatest impact this year. With a record 3.3 million people filing for unemployment recently, it’s important we all find ways to support local businesses to keep businesses alive, keep people employed and lower the curve on the unemployment rate moving forward. If we can keep businesses afloat during this time, I’m optimistic for a strong rebound and expecting pent up demand to bring the economy back where it was. A lot of this will be determined by the impact of the virus as there is still so much for us to learn. Let’s stay positive and all try to implement at least one thing from this list to help support one another!
- Buy A Gift Card
Businesses need cash flow right now, and the easiest way to help them is to buy gift cards and use them down the road. Some businesses are offering gift card bonuses right now so you can get a little more for your money and offering free incentives with purchases. Some places are even letting you email gift cards as gifts to others right now. Might be a good time to start stocking up on gift cards this year for birthdays and holidays!
2. Get Delivery
Bars & restaurants may be closed but we all still need to eat and these businesses still need to make money. Therefore we are seeing a surge in delivery which will end up being a saving grace for many food businesses. If you don’t want to spend the extra money to have it delivered, ordering take-out will accomplish the same purpose. If the restaurant doesn’t have a food delivery option, you can use apps like Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats and Caviar and have them pick up your food and deliver it to you. If you can afford it, commit to ordering in a few meals every week.
3. Shop Local Online
If you’re a local business and you don’t have all your products online, it’s time to do so! Your favorite store may be closed but they may have their products online as well so it’s important we seek alternative ordering options that have been implemented by businesses during this time. You may have read the recent article on Powell’s Books, a local bookstore that was able to hire back on 100 employees after they saw a surge in online orders by Portlanders trying to support this business that’s been around since 1971. I thought that set a good example for us all to follow.
4. Tip Aggressively
It’s not a fun time to be a waiter, barista or delivery driver because not only are they likely working less hours, they’re getting fewer tips from nonexistent customers. If you can afford it, make someone’s day with a nice tip. They’re also more exposed to the virus putting them at a higher risk. If you’re looking to give back to the grocery store clerk, a big smile and thank you can go a long ways!
5. Keep paying the people that work for you
If you’re taking self quarantine seriously, you most likely cancelled the piano lessons and sent the housekeeper and the tutors away. But that doesn’t mean we can stop paying them! Venmo doesn’t require contact is a quick & efficient way to pay someone remotely. Many of these businesses are losing out on their income during this time so they need help just like the people in the entertainment and food industry!
6. Leave a review
If you’re like me, you now have more time on your hands than ever. Why not spare some time and leave some online reviews for some of your favorite businesses? This will help position these businesses for a quick & successful rebound once this all passes. You may even get a positive review in return for your own business. This will also increase online orders for these businesses as many people look for reviews when doing an online order.
7. Say Thank You
At the end of the day, many businesses will be impacted by this and some things will be out of our control so all we can do is give a big thank you to keep people’s heads up during this tough time. Some business owners are very stressed out right now and a little compassion and connection can go a long ways in brightening someone’s day. Send a thank you note or an email and let them know you’re thinking about them!
Let’s all stay strong and help one another out during this time. I’m certainly an optimist but I’m hopeful for a quick recovery and turn around. If we continue to come together for one cause and support one another, I think we’ll see a quick rebound and see a rise in demand once all this passes. Stay strong, stay healthy and stay home. If you’re looking for some more ways to support local small businesses, check out Shopify’s recent article titled 12 Ways We Can All Support Small Businesses (Even While Social Distancing.)
Published on 2020-03-30 17:53:43