The small businesses that we love so dearly in our local communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With little time to prepare, these businesses have been forced to shut down their doors, lay off staff, and completely pivot their operations (if even possible) in order to survive such uncertain times. If we want to see these businesses reopen their doors in the future, it is time for us to step up and show how much we love and appreciate having these businesses in our local communities. Here are some ways that you can help support your local business community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shop Locally, Online
Brick-and mortar-businesses are turning to online sales to keep afloat while their doors are shut. Shop locally, online whenever possible and avoid big-box retailers if you can. Some businesses who do not have a website in place are turning to social media to advertise the products they have available. We have seen countless businesses featuring products on their Instagram stories. So, be sure to follow the accounts of businesses within your community, keep connected, and check-in with local businesses to see if they are providing home delivery or pick-up options. And, if you find a business in your community that is offering their products online, spread the good word! Let your friends and family know, so that they too can get on board and help sustain your favourite businesses.
Show Love on Social Media
Businesses are relying on social media to market themselves and the changes they’ve made to their operations. Promote your favourite local businesses on your social media. When your favourite business shares some exciting news on their social platforms or is advertising a neat product, be sure to repost it through your social channels. Engage with their social media accounts, like their photos, and write positive comments. Be proud of your local businesses and show them off to your personal networks.
Leave a Review
Businesses rely on positive reviews and feedback to attract new customers. Share your positive experiences, the amazing products the business carries, and anything else you love about your favourite local business in a review. Even if it’s short and sweet, you are helping to market the fantastic qualities you love about this business to new, potential customers.
Order Delivery or Grab Takeout
So many of us are missing our favourite dishes from restaurants in our communities. Many restaurants have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by shifting their operations to delivery and takeout options. Check with the restaurant directly or through your local delivery app to see if they are offering alternative dining options. You can still get your favourite dishes, while supporting your community’s local restaurants in a time of dire need.
Purchase a Gift Card
It might seem silly to buy a gift card that you won’t be able to use for a few months time, but in fact you are really being of service to the businesses in your local community. If you know that you will be making purchases from this business once it’s able to reopen its doors, buy a gift card now. You are helping this business to stay afloat and you won’t need to spend the money down the road.
We are shaped by the communities that we live in. Our communities are a major part of our self-identities and provide us with a sense of comfort, belonging, and structure in our lives. Already, the effects of COVID-19 have caused irreparable damage in our local business communities. We need to be proactive and step up now to help out the best that we can with the resources that we have. Our local business community is relying on us and needs our support right now. Let’s help to keep their doors open, so that we can look forward to frequenting these staples in our community in the future, again.
We want to know how you are helping out your local business community. Let us know in the comments below.