Due to the state shutdowns and stay-at-home orders that our nation has gone through, local businesses are in danger of not just staying closed for even longer, they may have to shut down for good. According to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 44 percent of economic activity and a recent survey shows that 87 percent of small business owners are struggling due to the coronavirus. The government is attempting to provide some financial relief to these businesses but ultimately, it’s up to us to preserve our communities and the businesses that hold them up.
Order Take-Out or Delivery
This simple solution may already be a part of some weekly routines but it’s more important than ever to order from your local restaurants that are feeling financial strain. Even if the interiors are closed, many local restaurants have added delivery and pick-up options that they may have not offered before to continue getting their tasty meals out to the public. If you wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating, ordering out is a safe option that will help your favorite local joints survive this pandemic. If available, consider purchasing gift cards as well!
Support Them on Social Media
Liking pages and posting reviews is free and easy to do from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Whether your local businesses are new to social media or they’ve already built an online presence, showing your support via commenting, reposting, and tagging helps them gain even more traction and exposure to a larger customer base. This, in turn, leads to more visibility and sales. Furthermore, make some time to leave glowing reviews for your favorite businesses as they will not only encourage other customers to use their services but it will also show those business owners that their work is still wanted and appreciated.
Consider Your Cancellations
If you have or had to cancel a service such as a class or an event, consider not asking for a refund. Even if you do not receive the service that you paid for, allowing local businesses to keep that payment can be thought of as a donation towards keeping them operational. Additionally, try searching for local subscriptions and memberships, such as a summer theater series, that you can subscribe to and support.
Offer Your Services
Small businesses that are trying to acclimate to these circumstances may benefit from legal and accounting consultations or website design to help get established in the virtual world. If you have expertise in a field such as digital marketing or website design, consider reaching out to your local business owners to ask if they would like any help promoting online. If you are already a work-from-home lawyer, consider offering free consultations to help answer any pressing questions or worries. If you have expertise to offer, all it takes is a little time to help your local businesses.
Leave a Donation
Perhaps the simplest and most effective way to keep your local businesses afloat, donate to them! No matter how big or small it might be, a donation electronically or in cash is still better than nothing at all – which many small businesses may be worrying about. Business owners have to pay the bills as well and a donation will help them keep their property, services, and staff intact.
Extending a helping hand is vital now to help our favorite local business stay afloat and survive through these unprecedented circumstances. Some of the easiest support we can give is simply reaching out to say thank you. Adding this simple human element via compassion and connection goes a long way towards keeping spirits high. It’s up to us to support our local businesses that make our communities so unique and precious and you can do your part to help right away.