Local and small businesses need us now more than ever. Your local cafes, restaurants, and hair salons are relying on your support to get through this difficult time. To help them in their time of need, we’ve put together a list of the best ways you can support your local businesses without sacrificing your standard of living.
Switch Your Pharmacy
If you currently pick up your prescription drugs from a major pharmacy chain, consider switching to your local community pharmacist.
To transfer a prescription to a new pharmacy, contact the new pharmacist by calling or going online, and provide them with your health and insurance information. Then, wait for your prescription to be transferred—in most cases, this takes no longer than a few business days.
Give Gift Cards
If a birthday or anniversary is coming up for someone who lives in your area, consider gifting them a gift card to a local establishment. This way, they can support the restaurant or store once they reopen. Plus, many stores are offering bonuses for gift card purchases, so you can get a small gift merely for buying one for someone else.
No matter who it is, whether it’s the valet parking service, the delivery driver at your doorstep, or your local barista, you should tip generously so they know you appreciate their service. Not only will it make their day, but it will trickle down into your local economy afterward.
Keep Paying Your Helpers
If you have had a nanny or cleaning person in the past, keep paying them. Even if they can’t render their services, paying them can help them stay on their feet and they will be especially loyal and grateful once they can start providing services for you again.
Local gyms are struggling in today’s economy. To support your local gym owners and staff, don’t cancel your membership. Instead, keep paying your monthly fees if you can afford them. When the gym eventually opens again, you may be credited for the time you paid for during the closure.
Volunteer Your Services
If you’re a creative professional, such as a graphic designer, web designer, or copywriter, consider volunteering your services to a local business or non-profit. This way, they can save money that they otherwise would’ve spent by outsourcing the work elsewhere.
Share Your Cleaning and Sanitation Supplies
Your hand sanitizer bottles and face masks that are laying around the house can be put to better use by donating them to your local businesses. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of sanitation supplies and unless businesses can get their hands on cleaning and sanitation agents, then they may have to keep their doors closed.
Donate Wherever Possible
Donations aren’t restricted to non-profits and charities. Regular businesses can also accept donations that can help them during their time of need, which can help alleviate mounting expenses while their doors are closed.
Create a Local Business Network
One of the best things you can do to support your local business community is to create an online business network. On Facebook, you can create a community page where your neighbors and business owners can chat, share promotions, and strategize together during this difficult time. To advertise the page, you can put up posters on street poles throughout your neighborhood with the Facebook URL printed on it.
If you’re considering asking for a refund on a product or service from a local business, maybe consider holding off for now. Refunds negatively impact a business’s bottom line and demanding a refund from a local business when it’s already struggling can have devastating effects on the company. Instead, be a little extra forgiving of mishaps or slowdowns at local businesses.
Advertise Local Businesses on Social Media
If you’re a big fan of a local cafe or restaurant, consider posting their takeout menu on your Facebook or Instagram page. For bonus points, drop a line about how much you love their mouthwatering donuts or delicious pasta dishes. This kind of peer-to-peer advertising can have a major impact on your local restaurant’s business when normal foot traffic is slower.
When you order a meal or snack from your local restaurant, post a photo of it to your Instagram or Facebook stories, and be sure to tag their account. This form of free advertising can bring a lot of attention to the business and increase their sales.
It should go without saying that you should skip out on the big box stores and support your local mom and pop shops. Opting for smaller businesses can make a world of difference for a small business’s bottom line, whereas the larger multinational businesses won’t even notice the difference.
Check-In With Your Local Business Owners
Your local businesses are owned by your neighbors, who may be personally struggling during these uncertain times. Sometimes, you don’t have to spend money to support local companies. Instead, simply reach out to local business owners to ask how they are doing and how you might be able to help them.
Although many of us are struggling at this time, including business owners, a little bit of generosity and kindness can go a long way towards supporting them and restoring confidence in a better future.