Measures such as social distancing and self-isolation are vital in helping to #flattenthecurve, but they also threaten to affect local businesses. It leaves many business owners and employees at risk for the foreseeable future. Unlike big global retailers, these local businesses generally don’t have the resources to sustain themselves during these times. We’ll inevitably see many of them close their doors permanently.
While the government is doing its part to protect the economy, there are also plenty of ways you can help support your favourite local businesses!
Drop them a message of kindness, while they work hard for you
They are working hard for you even through these tough times, trust us when we say this - a simple thank you goes a long way! With so many crazy & hectic things going on now, reaching out with positive words of encouragement through social media or directly through e-mail, or phone call is likely to give the team the strength and motivation to serve even better.
Reschedule instead of cancelling
While you may have the right to ask for a full refund, one way to support a local business during this outbreak is to see what other options they can offer. Many companies are freezing customer accounts or even extending validity of passes to enjoy at a later date when this is all over. Even with independent freelancers or vendors, consider postponing the session, these are the people that relies on job income to stay in the business. With cancellations and budget cuts happening everywhere, it can be a terrifying time for freelancers and small local companies.
Shop local, both online and offline
Many small businesses that do not typically offer online ordering are starting to test the waters, so check to see if this is something the places you frequently shop with are doing. The need to social distance has seen a number of retailers alter their services to fit the temporary ‘new normal’. While many grocery stores and pharmacies are still open, consider avoiding the crowds and restocking from an online independent business. Including ordering your meals from big companies vs small, local restaurants!
Share your favourite brand or products to the world
Thanks to social distancing, people are spending more and more time on their phones and computers. That means more eyes on social media pages. When you highlight a local business on your social media, it can have a catalytic affect: You’re making your network aware of the business and how they can contribute. Word of mouth marketing is vital to a small business. As we pointed out earlier, small businesses don’t have large marketing budgets and much of their business comes from repeat business or from word of mouth marketing. Small business owners still prefer calls and in-person interactions as a way of getting customers and still believe that word of marketing is more valuable.
Check out what they are up to on social media!
Similarly, it's free to check out their social media and show some support! It is as simple as it gets, the higher the engagement or with more positive reviews, it heightens the brand's exposure, something every shop and business needs now more than ever. Many businesses have also released statements on their social media pages, whether it’s to say they're staying open and taking precautions or to announce they're introducing delivery. By sharing these posts and liking them, you are spreading the message and letting your local community know that these businesses are still here and fighting.