While it’s true that restrictions are slowly beginning to get lifted across the country, there are many businesses that are not able to open their doors just yet. Some of them are the ones we frequent on a regular basis. We could maybe even say that these small businesses that have been affected by the novel Coronavirus are more than just another business to us. They hold a special place in our hearts. It may be your favorite hole in the wall restaurant around the corner, the hair salon where your stylist of 5+ years works, or your go-to weekend dive bar. These establishments need all the support they can get to be able to reopen once they are given the green light. Here are 10 ways you can help keep your best-loved places afloat!
1. Order Takeout or Delivery from Local Cafes and Restaurants
You don’t have to miss your favorite restaurant too much. Based on clearance from health officials, it is absolutely safe to consume food prepared somewhere other than your kitchen. By ordering takeout or delivery from local places at least once or twice a week, you’ll be supporting your favorite mom & pop spots while satisfying your cravings.
2. Buy Gift Cards
Times may be tough right now, but if your go-to boutique stores are offering gift cards, consider buying one to spend at another time! This will establish a lasting connection between you, the customer, and the business, and this simple gesture coming from a reoccurring patron will be a reassuring indicator of your support.
3. Shoutout on Social Media
Whether you’re on a zoom call with your colleagues or frequently posting on your IG stories, you’re bound to want to talk about what spots you’ve been getting take-out from, or where you’re doing all of your online shopping. Even if you don’t have a large following, turning to your personal social media accounts, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and sharing a casual testimonial about your favorite small business will definitely encourage people to give their attention to places they’ve never heard of before. Who knows, it may even become their favorite place, too!
4. Schedule a Service for Later
We often take our regularly scheduled services for granted. Because of the circumstances surrounded by the Coronavirus, we’ve had to give up luxuries such as hair & nail appointments, massages, facials, chiropractic visits, and other various treatments because these are all activities of businesses that are considered “non-essential.” While you’re contemplating whether or not to cut your own bangs, these non-essential businesses, run or operated by trusted local professionals, are struggling with the fact that they have to remain closed during safer-at-home orders. By booking a service or appointment with these establishments in advance, you’re reassuring them that you’ll be there as their loyal customer once things are back to normal. If you want to take a step further, and if you have the means to, you can even partially or fully pay for your next visit in advance. We guarantee that these efforts will not go unnoticed.
5. Take Advantage of Virtual Consultations and DIY Kits
Although the above-mentioned businesses may be closed, many are offering discounted virtual consultations when applicable. Some beauty establishments are even going as far as putting together DIY kits that their clients can purchase for simple and fun ways to maintain things like hair color and nail care. Not only are you supporting your local establishments by purchasing these goods and services, but you’re also treating yourself to some much-needed self-care. Various restaurants are also providing DIY kits for their most popular dishes, so you can purchase fresh ingredients from them and make your favorite meal at home.
6. Shop Online with Local or Small Business Vendors
Many of your favored boutique online stores are still able to remain open for business from their home offices during this time. If you’re looking for a refresh in wardrobe, in need of some natural soap, or are just looking to partake in some good ol’ retail therapy, browse and shop from the online shops of small businesses. This way, you know the money is going directly to the store and its constituents, rather than a large corporation.
7. Opt for Store Credit Over a Refund
Have you recently purchased something that you now realize isn’t your cup of tea? Consider asking for store credit instead of returning it for a full refund. If you’re a frequent shopper at the particular establishment, you’ll eventually want to give them more of your business anyway.
8. Leave a Positive Review
If you’ve been meaning to write reviews for businesses that you’ve returned to time and time again, now’s the best time to do so! Leaving a positive review on any one of the major review platforms will help boost overall ratings, which will eventually lead to an increase in clientele and sales. By writing something genuine and leaving a positive score, you will help some of your favorite establishments sustain their good name.
9. Offer Your Expertise for Free
Many of us have an ample amount of free time on our hands because of this pandemic. Whether we are unable to work or are still working, but don’t have the usual heavy workload, it’s undeniable that our lives are out of the ordinary right now. If you are a maven of your craft, you are bound to be of help to a small business with anything from carpentry to professional legal advice. If you feel you have the means, consider offering one of your favorite places a free consultation or service. It doesn’t have to be something large! It’s the gesture that counts.
10. Say Thanks!
If you can’t do anything more, just a simple note of admiration and appreciation will be a positive light during an unsettling time. You can either go old school and write out a hand-written letter to each business, or you can design something classic and simple on the web and print them in bulk. This thoughtful gesture doesn’t have to be pricey – you can create your own design or use a ready-made template, and get as low as 25 quantity in greeting cards.
At the end of the day, anything you can do to support local businesses will give them the strength and means to remain steady during the lockdown and ultimately, the ability to remain a business that will serve your community for years to come.
Let us know in the comments below, what are you doing to help your favorite local businesses?