The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on companies all across the world, as many were forced to close their doors or saw a drastic reduction in sales during lockdowns. A lot of those that were worst affected were the independent businesses that didn’t have a lot of savings to fall back on. With most cities starting to get back to some version of normal now, we can do our bit to help support those local businesses. Here are five ways to help them get back on their feet and continue to thrive.
Visit their stores
The most obvious way to help local businesses is by being one of their customers! So, the next time you’re out shopping, make a special effort to go into a boutique clothing store run by a local designer rather than a chain store.
Or choose a local cafe for your coffee break rather than going to Starbucks as normal. You never know, you might just discover a new favorite spot.
Shop local businesses online to support
These days, most local businesses have a website, and many of them offer the chance to buy their products or services online. So, even if you don’t go into town or to the mall much, you can still support local companies.
For example, if you live in Las Vegas look up cheap car insurance in Las Vegas, or if you live in Boulder search for coffee roasters in Boulder. Why not see how many of your purchases can become local ones?
Buy gift vouchers
As well as going to local businesses yourself, encourage other people to do the same. For example, you might buy them gift vouchers for places you think they’ll like to go.
Whether it’s a cosmetics store, restaurant, or book shop, more and more independent companies are starting to offer gift vouchers. So, it’s always worth checking if a beloved local place offers gift certificates.
Tell all your friends
Another way to encourage friends and family to visit your favorite local business is through word of mouth. If you try a new independent coffee shop or book store and love it, tell everyone about it!
You’ll be helping to raise awareness of the company and giving them some free marketing, which they’re sure to appreciate. This is an especially useful tactic if you know that the person you’re talking to is likely to appreciate the products or services of the business.
But, even if they aren’t interested, they might recommend the company to someone who is, based on your feedback. Along with making local recommendations to friends, also consider reaching out to neighbors, co-workers, and those at church.
Leave a supportive review online for local business
To truly reach the widest possible audience of potential customers, leaving a positive online review for a local business is the most effective choice. You can do this on Google, your social media sites or a personal blog, or even on the company’s website.
It only takes a few minutes to write a sentence or two. But the review can bring huge benefits for a local business.
People are often reluctant to try a new store or restaurant if they haven’t heard much about it. So, leaving an honest review, you’ll help them to feel more confident about giving it a go. Consider adding pictures to the review too, if appropriate.