The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal on everyone, but perhaps no one has been hit harder than small businesses. Unfortunately, many companies have closed down because of the pandemic. Additionally, with many people out of work or working from home, surviving local companies have seen a significant decrease in foot traffic and revenue. However, there are things that we can do as individuals to help support them. Here are ways you can make a difference.
Shop Local Whenever Possible
One of the best ways to support local businesses is to patronize them whenever possible. Make an effort to buy your groceries from local markets, get your coffee from a local café, and pick up dinner from a local restaurant instead of ordering from a national chain. Every little bit helps!
When you buy from a small business, you’re not just supporting that business owner—you’re supporting their employees, families, and community. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy and play an essential role in creating jobs and driving economic growth. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses make two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. What’s more, small businesses account for 44% of all U.S. sales.
In addition to boosting the economy, shopping locally also positively impacts your community. Local businesses are more likely to give back to their community through sponsorships, donations, and other forms of support. So when you shop locally, you’re investing in your community—which benefits everyone.
Improve Online Presence
You can also help them improve their online presence as someone who supports your local businesses. Here are three main ways you can do that:
Leave Online Reviews
Online reviews are more important than ever in today’s digital age. When potential customers are looking for somewhere to eat or shop, they often read online reviews to see what others have said about their experience. By leaving positive reviews for your favorite local businesses, you can help them attract new customers and stay afloat during these difficult times.
You can also blog about your favorite local businesses or write about them on social media. When doing so, ensure to include links to the business’s website and social accounts. This will improve their search ranking in results pages and help them stay afloat during these trying times. If you need SEO tips, ask your local SEO agency for help. They can help guide you through the process. You can even suggest them to local businesses who are in help of SEO services.
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used for good or for ill. In this case, we’re talking about using it for good! If you have a favorite local business that you think others would enjoy, tell them about it! Then, post it on your social media channels and encourage others to do the same. The more people know about a business, the more likely they will patronize it.
Another way you can support local businesses is by contributing to their crowdfunding campaigns. Many small businesses have turned to crowdfunding in recent weeks and months to stay afloat during the pandemic. Consider donating what you can (even if it’s just a few dollars) towards a crowdfunding campaign for a business you love.
Help Them Hire Locally
One way to support local businesses is by encouraging them to hire locally. Encourage them to look for candidates who already live in the community and are looking for work. Additionally, you can even aid them in hiring locally. Here are some ways.
Many people are out of jobs right now. If you know someone who is looking for work, refer them to your favorite local business. They may be able to fill an open position and help contribute to the success of a small business.
Another way to encourage local businesses to hire locally is by helping them find job fairs in the area. Often, these events are filled with talented potential candidates looking for employment. By assisting local businesses to find the right job fairs and attend them, you can keep these businesses afloat.
Tell Your Friends
Finally, one of the best ways to support your favorite local businesses is to tell your friends about them. Encourage others to visit these establishments and contribute to them in any way possible. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats!
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, so you must do what you can to support them—especially during tough times like these. By following the tips above, you can make a big difference in your community. So get out there and start shopping, reviewing, and sharing!