While coronavirus has created an existential crisis to the world economy, here are reasons why and how you can support local businesses — without risking your health.
Businesses have been greatly affected by the coronavirus disease and most of us are seeing the ripple effects right before our eyes. In this new era of social distancing and self-isolation, businesses that rely on in-person transactions are forced to either temporary closure, laying off employees, or closure.
If small, locally owned businesses have reopened after many weeks or switched digital operations, it is the best time to show them some love and support without compromising your health and safety. Now, why is supporting local businesses vital at this point?
Two reasons to support local businesses.
- They are the backbone of the nation’s economy. They cover the loss of the nation’s jobs, encourage innovation, and shape our community’s personalities.
- Their products and services adapt to the community’s needs, generating economic activity that supports schools, parks, primary responders, and other essential community services.
But not all small businesses have enough credit and capital to stay afloat amid the coronavirus crisis. Multiple cities and state governments, foundations, and nonprofits are currently helping small businesses, but in reality, everyone can help. Here are some things you can do, with most being free.
Buy from small and locally owned businesses. There are items that you buy in the city that are also available in your local shops. Buying local means, you’re not only supporting community businesses, but you will get the products faster ordering them from an online megastore.
Purchase goods online. Purchasing online is a way of helping locals without leaving the comfort and safety of your home. They also provide options where we can purchase their goods via the website, Facebook, phone call, or email.
Contact a community restaurant and order takeout online. Neighborhood restaurants have hastened to make it easier for customers to order carry-out food and either pick it up or have it delivered. Now’s the perfect time to order from a local restaurant, or assist healthcare workers by ordering food and having it delivered to a local ER or hospital.
Purchase Gift Cards. Buy credits or gift certificates and use them once the business reopens. You can encourage a friend to do the same. Buying gift cards gives a small and locally owned business a capital infusion to make it through hard times.
Leave a positive review online. Leaving positive reviews on the company’s website can persuade customers to buy their products or services. Studies have shown the impact of online reviews that consumers spend around 31% more on products and services from businesses that have excellent reviews.
Give social media shoutouts. Show your support by liking, tagging, commenting, and sharing the words of your local businesses to all your friends and followers. You are not just exposing their business, but bringing brand awareness to your network.
Sign up for newsletters. Be up-to-date by subscribing to their newsletter and getting updates on the latest offer with their products and services. You may not need them, but you can share it with your interested friends and colleagues.
And finally, be patient and understanding.
In the age of global crisis, it calls us to be patient and understanding to everyone—including to all small and local business owners. We all have been hit by this crisis and are adjusting to this new normal. If you have concerns regarding their products or services, reach out to them. If you are exceedingly satisfied with their performance, appreciate them. They would be grateful for any of this.
In this time of uncertainty, it makes sense to pull back on unlimited spending, but if you need something, choosing a small business to support makes a difference — to the community and the economy.