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8 ways you can help small businesses in your community

Shopping locally with bags in her hand, a woman wearing a mask and yellow shirt showcases 8 ways you can help small businesses in your community.

Alexa Kowaltchuk

October 16, 2020

Next week is the BDC Small Business Week – an annual celebration of small business ownership, entrepreneurship, and innovation across Canada. This year’s event is more significant than ever before, as many small businesses continue to face uncertain futures with the devastating effects of the pandemic. Small businesses are essential in our local communities and our economy. They provide employment opportunities, they stimulate new growth and innovation, and they are unique establishments that bring character and diversity to our neighbourhoods.

Next week, join Canada in celebrating the accomplishments of small businesses and the outstanding contributions they make in our local communities. Here are 8 ways you can help small businesses in your community.

Buy a Gift Card

Have a favourite place you like to shop? If you shop at a business regularly, getting yourself a gift card to use helps that business the very moment you buy it, and saves you from needing to spend money down the road. Got a few friends who you want to promote your favourite shop to? Get them a gift card, too (even if it’s only $5)!

Don’t Cancel Your Subscription or Membership Just Yet

Many of our favourite service-type businesses that charge subscription fees or memberships cannot physically open their doors or provide their offerings online. If your local yoga studio has shut down its doors and cannot offer virtual classes, you might want to consider continuing to pay your monthly membership and getting that credited to your account for future use.

Offer Your Expertise

If you’re a professional or creative with a unique skill set, your expertise might be greatly beneficial to a small business. Whether you’re a lawyer who can hop on a quick call to offer some legal advice, an accountant who can waive the fee for preparing this year’s tax return, a social media manager who can help with business promotion, or a web developer who can set up a basic online shop – your expertise is extremely coveted during this time.

Get Store Credit

Bought something and decided you didn’t want it after all? Instead of returning it for a cash refund, consider returning it for a store credit instead.

Start Learning With Virtual Classes and Workshops

It seems that there is a virtual class for anything imaginable these days. From Italian cooking classes with Nonna, to wine and cheese tastings with a cheesemonger, to lively salsa classes with your local Latin dance school, there is something for everyone.

Leave a 5-Star Review

Small businesses rely on positive reviews and feedback to attract new business. Leaving a 5-star review helps your favourite business to rank higher in search engines – so, if you’ve been meaning to leave a review for a while, do it now! Share your positive experiences, the amazing products the business carries, the great quality of their services, and anything else you love about your favourite local business.

Skip the Big-Box Stores and Shop Independent Retailers

Many small businesses have shifted their operations to an online e-commerce platform. When possible, buy online from independent retailers and avoid big-box stores. And, if you haven’t already – check-in with your favourite local businesses to see if they’re providing home delivery or curbside pick-up options.

Share the Love on Social Media

Does your favourite small business use social medial? Repost, reshare, and retweet information, products, and services that they’re offering. Your social media platforms are an extra platform for them to spread the good word! And, if they don’t – you can still share some awesome content about them on your channels.

Supporting small businesses is more important now than ever before. This upcoming week, we hope you join us in recognizing and celebrating the achievements of our vibrant, innovative, and diverse small business communities across Canada. How are you helping small businesses in your local community?

Learn more about the BDC Small Business Week in our post Support Small Business Week: Why It’s More Important Now Than Ever Before.

Alexa, Virtual Gurus

Alexa Kowaltchuk

Alexa is a social media and blogging guru with a severe case of the travel bug. For the last 3 years, she has been travelling across the world while working as a digital nomad. When not busy writing and creating content, she is out discovering new cheeses to add to her next cheese board.

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