All around the globe, small businesses are forced to close down or lay off their staff. While large companies have a safety net, local shops are still unsure if they will ever reopen once the pandemic is behind us. It can leave a significant mark on your local economy, as well as on the lives of small business employees.
So if you have a favorite restaurant just down the street, or you used to frequent a local coffee shop before the pandemic, there are many things you can do to support them even during this difficult time. These small steps can help them stay afloat and survive until things get back to normal.
Online Shopping but Make It Local
Some small businesses didn’t have an online presence before the pandemic, but most of them managed to adapt to the situation. For instance, my number-one coffee shop now runs an online store where you can purchase ground coffee from them. I miss the staff, but I can still make my favorite coffee at home and help the shop along the way.
When you purchase goods from small local businesses, you are supporting them financially and letting the employees know that you haven’t forgotten about them during these stressful times. The support means a lot to the staff because they know the community is still there and will be returning when they reopen.
The studies have shown that food deliveries are not exposing anyone to the risk of getting sick, so you can still order your favorite meal from a local restaurant. Some places that didn’t have takeout food available before the pandemic fully embraced this idea. So search the internet for their online menus and order a dish of your choice.
If you have time, you can also pick up the food in person. The restaurant will save more money if they don’t use a costly delivery service. Additionally, eating delicious restaurant food from the comfort of your home will make you feel like things are like they used to be, at least for some time.
Spread the Word
We can’t stress enough how powerful social media is right now. So follow your favorite local businesses, share stories about them, or mention their services to your followers. If a small business is running a promotion or having a sale, you can always spread the word. Think about leaving them a positive review on their website, if you haven’t already. You don’t need to be an influencer to draw attention to a local business.
Remember to stay safe while you are on social media. After all, you will be sharing some personal information there. Make sure you are using tools such as VPN. In essence, a VPN will keep your data safe. For example, if you’re spending your time in the UK, a UK VPN can be very beneficial if you want to secure your internet connection and stay safe at all times. It is also a great way to ensure that your information won’t fall into the wrong hands. Don’t forget to protect yourself from online threats because cybersecurity is more important than ever.
Support the Art
Small businesses that sell handmade goods are especially in danger of closing down permanently. The holiday season is just around the corner, so think about buying different kinds of gifts for your family this year. Many local craft stores already have online shops, so browse around to find interesting items.
Additionally, websites like Etsy can connect you with your local artists who are still working around the clock despite the pandemic. There you can find a variety of items – from artwork to hand-painted tote bags and more. Your family will love these thoughtful gifts, and you will help the local arts and crafts scene to thrive.
Buy Gift Cards
Places such as beauty salons or spas might not have a lot of products to sell on their websites. The same goes for theaters. However, they probably offer things like gift cards. You can purchase these and hold on to them for some time in case businesses are currently shut down. It will help these places to profit even though they are closed at the moment and ensure they can survive the lockdown.
Once they open their doors, and you feel comfortable enough to hang around other people, you can treat yourself to a nice massage or a facial. Not to forget that theater gift cards do not have an expiry date, so your whole family can have a fun night out whenever you feel like it. Plus, you can purchase concessions with it as well.