How To Support Local Business During Covid-19
With Covid-19 and social distancing rules in place across the country, there have been many ramifications for local businesses, especially those that depend on in-person foot traffic to survive. Unlike major corporations or chains, these local businesses need your support more than ever to prevent them from closing their doors permanently. To help your favourite neighborhood businesses bounce back, here are a few ideas on how you can support them.
Buy Gift Cards
Although you can’t visit some of your preferred local businesses right now, you know you’ll want to in the future. By buying gift cards, you can help them stay afloat by giving them immediate cash flow, which can help them pay expenses and keep their losses lower.
Support Local Restaurants
Even though we can’t eat at our most loved food spots, there are plenty of ways to support restaurants during this hard time. Many restaurants have amazing offers on food delivery and take out. Wednesdays have even been named National Takeout Day as a way to show support for Canada’s struggling restaurant industry. When ordering take out or delivery, think about prioritizing smaller restaurants in your area and try to order directly from the restaurant, as some popular food delivery apps take a cut of their profits. Also, check to see if your favourite restaurant is offering meal kits or frozen meals.
Shop Local Online
Although Amazon is quick and convenient, many of the same products are available just as conveniently through local retailers. Many local retailers have their products available for purchase online and are offering curbside pick-up or delivery. Consider the smaller players near you before automatically opting to order from big box businesses.
Reschedule, Don’t Cancel
Small businesses that hold events or provide services rely on your patronage to stay successful. Instead of cancelling your upcoming appointments (painting, insulation installs, etc.), let them know you intend to do business with them in the future. Service-related businesses are often independent contractors, which is why it’s important to reschedule your appointments rather than cancelling. And, if you can, continue to pay your dog walker, house cleaner or anyone who depends on regular income for you.
Share Experiences on Social Media
Thanks to social distancing, people are spending more and more time on their phones and computers, which means social media usage has increased greatly. Giving a shout out or tagging a local business in your community is a great way to thank them for their services and provide them with free promotion. Even better, leave a positive review on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp or Trip Advisor. If the business is open, you’re raising their visibility in your community. If they are not currently operating, you’re helping them generate interest for when they reopen.
If you’ve built relationships with the small business owners in your neighborhood, reach out and ask if there’s anything they need right now. If you’re a business owner as well, stick together and support each other. Many us are extremely anxious right now, and some kind words or a thank you note can go a long way.
During these uncertain times, the impact on small businesses can be devastating and detrimental. The government is doing their part to offer financial relief, but ultimately, it’s up to local communities and customers to support the local businesses we love any way we can during this time.