With nearly every industry severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses everywhere are struggling to pay employees and bills. These businesses are the backbone of our communities and economy, and they need our support more than ever to stay afloat.
Following the lead of the Support Local Gems initiative, here are six things you can do right now to support the small businesses in your community while staying safe and healthy:
1. Reschedule (rather than cancel) your existing appointment.
Instead of asking for a refund, consider rescheduling your appointment/event/etc. for a later date when businesses are allowed to reopen and welcome customers again. Imagine being an event-focused business and losing months of income and having to make tough employment decisions because you had to refund every deposit. Taking one of those burdens off a business could make a big difference.
2. Prepay or buy a gift card for a future appointment.
Buying now ensures businesses receive some much-needed cash and gives you something to look forward to when life gets back — or as close as it’s going to get — to normal. Pro tip: get all your Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, Christmas and honorary day of appreciation gift shopping done in one fell swoop.
3. Shop local before buying from large online retailers.
Before you add items to your Amazon cart, take an extra few minutes to shop local business websites — or call them — to see if you can find your desired purchase locally. Every little bit helps.
4. Order takeout or delivery.
Have a favorite or a couple of favorite restaurants? Support them by purchasing takeout or delivery. You get the satisfaction of enjoying a delicious meal while knowing that you’re helping to keep an establishment in business. Talk about a win-win.
5. Write a positive review online or give a social media shout-out.
If finances are tight and supporting businesses monetarily isn’t an option, no worries. Show your support with a positive online review or a social media post sharing the great service or experiences you’ve had at your favorite businesses. Simply promoting the fact that these businesses are still open could provide a boost.
6. Contact business owners to see how you can best support them.
Every business is unique — as are the challenges they’re facing in these uncertain times. Consider contacting businesses directly to see what would be most helpful to them right now. This also gives you an opportunity to say a simple “thank you,” which could put a smile on their face (something everybody could use a little more of these days).
Whichever of these kind gestures you can do to support the local gems in your community is helpful and greatly appreciated. Did I miss any ideas people should know about? Please let me know!
*Hero photo credit: Idaho Tourism.