Creative Ways to Support Small Businesses Working on Reopening
Depending on where you live and the business in question, your favourite stores and restaurants might still be closed or have just reopened. Visiting your favourite business’ websites for information on when they open is a good start, but there are creative ways to show your support until they can open.
From word of mouth marketing to contacting your local government, now is the time to show your support. Supporting local business means supporting your neighbors, and we need to support each other now more than ever.
At Blueprint, we’re heavily invested in the success of small businesses – after all, we’re one ourselves! Check out this list of ways you can support local – and feel free to get in touch to send us ideas to add!
Buy a Gift Card
You may have heard this tip before, but just in case you haven’t, buying a gift card is one of the best ways you can support small businesses. When you purchase a gift card, you give small businesses income right now, at a time when they really need it. Your gift card purchase could make the difference in their upcoming rent payment.
Delivery is recommended by Health Canada and the FDA as a safe alternative to eating in a restaurant. Getting delivery from local restaurants is a great (and easy) way to replace lost income. Just don’t forget to tip!
And if you can, order directly from the restaurant instead of from delivery services. That way, the restaurants you love get 100% of the payment.
See if You Can Still Shop Local
Many businesses have changed their service offerings since the onset of COVID-19. You might be surprised at which businesses might now offer your everyday necessities. Maybe a restaurant meat supplier now delivers to households. Or maybe a toy store now offers homeschooling supplies. Instead of going to a grocery chain or a big box store, double-check if there’s a small business alternative instead.
Chances are, you can support many small businesses online. Even your favourite brick and mortar stores may have an online option for delivery or contactless pick-up. Check with local businesses and see if you can buy your regular products, without going into the store.
Check for Online Services
In addition to shopping online, you may also be able to get your regular services online. While not everything can be replicated over the internet, streaming services and video chat make it possible to get most services with 0 contact. Online therapy, tutoring, and fitness classes a just a few examples of services you can now find online.
Schedule a Future Service
If a local business doesn’t offer delivery or online services, you might be able to schedule a future service. Many areas have planned dates for reopening, so call and see if you can schedule a future appointment for services like haircuts, manicures, home cleaning, home painting, and more. Even if they’re not open now, knowing that cash is coming soon can really help a small business out.
If you had an appointment that now needs to be canceled because of coronavirus, don’t cancel or ask for a refund. Instead, consider rescheduling or postponing. This can really help businesses like event venues, cleaners, and others that rely on memberships or subscriptions.
Write a Review
91% of people actively read reviews before they buy something, so a review is a great (and free) way to support small businesses. Yelp, Google, and Facebook are great places to show your support, plus it encourages others to do the same once businesses can reopen. If you’ve enjoyed the services of a business in the past, now is the time to let them know it. A review will not only support their online rankings, but will also help bolster their spirits.
Give a Shoutout
Since quarantine and other isolation policies began, internet use is up 70%. People are spending more time online, particularly on social media. Use that to benefit small businesses by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts. Tagging friends in posts from small businesses in another way to show support.
Look to Local Media Outlets
Local media outlets can take your shoutouts a step further. Many local radio stations, TV outlets, blogs, and more are compiling lists of businesses to support. It’s a great way to spread the word and give a small business a boost.
Reach Out to Government Leaders
Your local leaders play a big role in how and when businesses can reopen, as well as other regulations. Government leaders also determine other small business support like rent relief and stimulus. Write to your local leaders and ask them what they’re doing to support small businesses.