During COVID, over 100,000 small businesses nationwide had to close their doors for good due to shutdowns and limited availability of supplies. If a small business is still up and running, they’re likely living in a state of worry, working tirelessly to keep their passion alive and maintain job security.
Small businesses are the backbone of any community. They make towns and cities fun, unique, and memorable. Without them, we’d be living in a world of sameness. Everyone owes at least a bit of their everyday products and services to small businesses.
Keep small businesses thriving in uncertain times, from the comfort and safety of your own home, with these options.
Ask what they need
The simplest, and arguably best way, to help a small business is to ask what they need. Reach out to an owner or employee to gauge what it is they’re struggling with, and plan to help accordingly.
Post on social media
It’s a given nowadays that most businesses have social media accounts. It’s one of the best free-to-use marketing and networking tools out there.
If you have social media accounts, search for the business and be sure to like their page, share it, and perhaps tag them in a post when you enjoy a product or service from them.
Purchase gift cards
With shutdowns, it can be hard to know when physical storefronts may reopen. If the small business offers gift cards, purchase one to use for a later date. Most times small businesses always honor gift cards regardless of the purchase date. This way, they still have a source of income when doors are shut.
Volunteer your time and talents
If you are able to, consider volunteering your time and talents for the small business. Sometimes the biggest challenges they face are ones you know how to navigate.
For instance, if you are a marketing professional, consider offering to design new social media posts and help with brainstorming effective promotions to attract more customers.
If you are skilled in a trade, you can offer to help fix essential equipment in the store that they may not be able to afford to fix right now.
If you can’t offer anything in this area, it’s important to listen to their needs and let a qualified family member or friend know if they can be of assistance. You’d be surprised how kind people can be when it comes to volunteering time and talent, especially if they enjoy their work.
Donate to help costs
Every penny given to a small business can help save and support them. If you aren’t able to donate, consider talking to any connections who have the means to invest in or donate to small businesses.
Some communities have funds in place for local small businesses to take from when needed. Check if your community has one, and if not, see what steps you can take to help get one started.
Leave a positive review
What’s the first step you take when looking for a new restaurant or service in your area? You’ll likely search for them on Google or Yelp, and whether or not you admit it, those five stars next to the name of the business hold a lot of weight in your decision to purchase anything from them.
Positive reviews let other people know how great the business is and can attract more customers. This is a free, easy, and helpful tool for you to give to a small business in need of more income.
Regardless of how you support them, you should always try and go out of your way to write a hand-written note or thoughtful email or text message to the small business. It means a lot to the owners and employees, because it motivates them to continue their work knowing they are positively impacting the lives of others.