There is no other way to say it- we are writing history right now. What we do through this situation decides whether or not we thrive as a nation. But on a more local front, and in a very real way, what we do to locally to support small business will decide if they can weather this storm or not.
How are you supposed to do that in a limited-contact or social isolation scenario, though? Fortunately, there are still several options available that will help you to help those local businesses that keep our community running.
Buy Gift Certificates
One great way to support local businesses is to buy gift cards and gift certificates, even if you don’t need them right now. That way, you can make a simple purchase that minimizes potential contact while giving the business that issued the certificate some much-needed income. Once things improve, you can then return to the store and take your time using the gift cards you purchased. As a bonus, they’re also easy to give to others if you know someone who’s in need.
Buy Branded Merchandise
Another good option is to buy branded merchandise such as t-shirts or coffee mugs that advertise the business. On top of the usual benefits of making a purchase, these items help to promote the company as well. As a bonus, buying branded merchandise helps you to show the business owner that you’re there specifically to support their business.
Order Online or On the Phone
Can’t get out? Check and see which businesses in your area offer online ordering and make use of that feature. If you can’t order online, give them a call and inquire about placing an order. You can even make arrangements for delivery or pickup while you’re on the phone.
Tip for Deliveries and Carry-Outs
A lot of people are relying on delivery and carry-out orders these days, especially from local restaurants. Unfortunately, a lot of people tip very little if at all for these services. Remember that a lot of employees are facing reduced hours in this stressful time, and every dollar helps. Be sure to tip even if you usually wouldn’t, and be generous when you do.
Spread the Word
There are many types of support. Financial support is crucial for local businesses trying to stay open, but not everyone can help out financially. If you can’t afford to shop right now, try to get the word out on social media and other platforms. Share posts, talk about the businesses that you’d like to support, and even post pictures of yourself wearing some branded merch. Every little bit helps, and someone might see your post and decide that they need to support local shops as well.
Donate Your Refunds
A major problem that small venues face is the refunding of canceled events. They’ve already spent money on advertising and racked up other costs, and now they’re losing their portion of ticket sales. If you have tickets for an event that was canceled and unlikely to be rescheduled, call the box office and inquire about donating your refund instead. While not all venues will do this, giving your ticket price lets those that do recoup some of what they spent and may even help them to stay open in the face of additional cancellations.
Local businesses are a part of your community, and as such, they want to see the community thrive. Situations like this are very stressful for business owners and employees alike, and the last thing that they want to see is people fighting over merchandise or those in need having to do without because someone else hoarded all the toilet paper. When shopping at local businesses, be courteous to other shoppers, maintain a safe distance, so no one is crowded, and avoid the temptation to grab everything when you just need one or two items.
If you have any additional suggestions about how we can support small business, drop a comment below. And if you need anything, we mean it- ANYTHING, give us a call. We’re here, and we’re here to help.
Graham and Kelly Levine, Team Leaders | 760.421.1733 | [email protected]