You can make a difference in your community and support local businesses during the COVID19 lockdownsays Anna Ashbarry
Although forecasts predict a more hopeful 2021 with the COVID19 vaccines being rolled out, several businesses continue to struggle financially. Small locally owned businesses are finding it particularly difficult to weather the pandemic. We as consumers, however, can choose to support the local economy while maintaining social distancing.
Here are 7 ways you can make a difference by helping small businesses stay afloat.
Shop local online
As the lock down forced many of us to stay home, many businesses decided to take their stores online. Quarantine has also been an opportunity for many to start new businesses with ideas that they’ve been holding onto for years. Taking a little extra time to find your favourite brick and mortar store online instead of falling back on Amazon can be more helpful than you think.
Buy a gift card
Buying vouchers is a great way to help businesses get back on their feet. You can continue to support your favourite local shops even if you don’t need to buy anything from them right now! Show your support by purchasing gift cards and help maintain their cash inflow.
Spread the word on social media
It can sometimes feel like taking action on social media isn’t doing much for a business. However, every like, share, and comment can go a long way. Try finding local businesses that are of interest to you on social media and share their messaging. Just one click of a button can mean reaching thousands of more people!
Do your research
Buying from big brands out of habit may be more convenient. But, taking the time to explore new local hubs can help you discover hidden gems. It can also help a business owner provide for their family, especially during these uncertain times.
Give service workers an extra tip
If you can afford to, continuing to tip service workers or even tipping a little extra could be of great value to that individual or team. A small gesture of appreciation can mean a lot to service workers, not just financially but in terms of social support too.
You may not be using the gym or heading out for classes, however, you should consider continuing with your membership. Steady cash flow is really important to any business to manage expenses. If you can’t afford the full payment, you could perhaps ask to lower it rather than cancelling it altogether.
An occasional treat to your favourite restaurant can help support local businesses during COVID19. You don’t even have to physically sit down at the restaurant for a meal. Added bonus: you can still have a lovely restaurant experience at home!
This year, before making personal purchases or buying gifts for friends and family, think about how you could impact your community, financially and socially. A little extra effort could go a long way in helping people cope with COVID19.
Anna is a freelance content creator and an activist who is extremely passionate about the environment. She loves to write and blog about her passions and experiences. In 2018, Anna was a Youth Reporter and volunteer on the ICS placement in Nepal with Restless Development. Many of her articles share stories, tips and advice for future ICS volunteers.