The economic impact COVID-19 has made on small and local businesses is staggering. Unemployment is at a record high and many businesses have already declared plans to end operations for good.
This chaotic time definitely paints a bleak picture, but it also serves as an opportunity to get involved and help. Some of us are fortunate enough to have extra time and energy to provide assistance for these businesses in their time of need. But what exactly does that look like? How can we rally not only ourselves but our personal communities to help the businesses we depend on at this time of crisis? Below are a few ways you can give some extra support.
1. Pay now, service later
Buying a gift card from a local mom and pop shop or paying for a future haircut you know you will need can be a boost to some of your favorite service spots. It gives encouragement to the business, showing them that you’re a loyal customer, and gives them quick revenue. If you are unable to pay for services now, schedule an appointment for the future. This serves as a nice reminder that this situation is temporary and gives you something to look forward to.
2. Small businesses are adapting… adapt with them!
It’s important to be aware of how your favorite spots are maintaining relationships with their customers so you can still take advantage of their services and support them. Soon after social distancing began, a local brewery near me started selling vegetables, herbs, and flowers from their garden. They advertised heavily on their social media platforms and enabled customers to pre-order plants as well as packaged beer for curbside pickup. If you feel uncomfortable picking up items from a location, check and see what delivery options exist. Many brick and mortar shops have expanded their shipment operations so you can still support them without having to leave your home.
3. Be an advocate for the places you love
A great way to support local business is to spread the word about them. Think of some of your favorite local spots and start following them on social media. If a business posts about services they are providing, share it with your network. At a time when people are ordering takeout more than usual, it helps to have options to choose from. Not everyone knows about that amazing hole in the wall ramen place you love. So tell them!
We all know how important it is to make customers feel special, but now it’s time to make businesses feel valued too! The pandemic won’t last forever, but the effects will likely linger. Let’s all do our part to give some much needed support.