Small businesses are hurting with the current situation, and we should do what we can to help! So here are five ways to support your local small businesses.
Everyday life has changed drastically for many this year, and that includes small businesses. One of the most devastating effects of COVID-19 has been the way it’s hurt small and local businesses. Many businesses have had to lay off employees or shut down altogether. Some are barely hanging on, hoping to make it through the next day.
Small businesses are the backbone of this country. They’re part of what makes communities so special. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a big push to support local businesses as much as possible. It’s important to continue with that support now and in the following months. These are five easy ways to show your support to the local small businesses in your community.
Make it a priority to buy from local sellers and eat at independently owned restaurants as often as you can. Operating with reduced hours and spending money on personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation products have cut into businesses’ profits. The best way you can help business owners offset these costs is to be a loyal, frequent customer.
Chances are you probably already buy from local establishments regularly – which is great. But try to think of how you can amp up your support. Is there something you buy from Amazon or a national chain that you could purchase from a local seller instead? Often the price difference between something sold at Target or on Amazon is only a few dollars cheaper than an independently-owned business.
Spending a few dollars more likely won’t make a huge difference to your finances but significantly impacts the business.
Many of us love online shopping because of the convenience and because it keeps us out of crowds. Many brick-and-mortar businesses have added online shopping to their websites during the pandemic with local delivery and curbside pickup options. Remember to look into this option at locally owned stores before you place your next Amazon order.
COVID-19 has taken a big hit on people in the service industry. Many people in the food and restaurant industry (servers, bartenders, baristas, busboys, etc.) were unable to work for weeks and months when restaurants were closed or open for takeout only. The same goes for hairdressers, nail technicians, massage therapists, and estheticians who weren’t able to work until recently. Keep this in mind when you grab a coffee, go out to eat, or get a haircut.
Make it a goal to tip often and generously. Tips make up a considerable portion of service workers’ income. Again, this is another example of how spending a few extra dollars goes a long way.
It’s safe to say that most of us have been having a hard year. The stress of the pandemic and all the uncertainty have been weighing heavily on all of us. With that said, we need to remember that everyone is going through a hard time. It’s easy to get caught up in your own emotions and frustrations, but you need to remember to be gentle and patient with others.
If you go to a store or a restaurant, follow their rules and be kind to the staff. As customers, it’s frustrating that many places we like to shop and eat at have reduced their hours and that there’s a longer wait to be seated or enter the store. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take these frustrations out on the cashiers or servers. They’re just trying to do their job, stay safe, and keep us safe.
Small business and restaurant owners and their staff have a lot of things to stress about on their plates. Don’t make a big deal out of little things or make their lives harder than they already are.
Another way to support your local small businesses is to spread the word. Businesses rely on word of mouth and testimonials. If there’s a store or restaurant that you like, help spread the word to get them more business. Recommend them to your friends and family, share their posts on social media, and take a moment to write positive reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor.
All of these things are completely free and take little time and effort. However, they can help stores and restaurants attract new clients when they need it most.
Chambers of commerce and non-profits in cities and towns all across the country have been setting up relief funds to support local businesses. If you’re in a position to make a donation, consider contributing to a fund that benefits businesses in your community. Often these fundraisers offer microloans and grants to help businesses with rent/mortgage, payroll, and buying the necessary sanitation and protection equipment needed to follow COVID-19 protocols.
Even if you’re not in a financial position to make a big donation (or any contribution at all), you can still help by spreading the word about these fundraisers in your community.
The businesses in your community have always been there for you: the cafe where you get your coffee, the store where you buy holiday gifts, the restaurant you go to for celebrating your birthday, the bakery you go to for a cupcake after a hard day. These businesses have been in the backgrounds of our lives during life’s good and bad moments.
Now it’s time for us to be there for them in their time of need. Following these steps is a good start to support your local small businesses that you care.
At Rainbow Restaurant we aim to support other local small businesses around us as much possible, and are thankful for those that help to support ours. Come in for a delicious breakfast today!