Small businesses need our help right now. With COVID-19 on the rise, many of them are at risk. There are lots of ways to help support small businesses as customers and consumers.
Small business is personal to me because I’ve had the privilege of meeting and connecting with small business owners since the beginning of college. They’ve provided mentorship and many professional opportunities to learn that I’d love to see continue for future entrepreneurs and students hungry for experience. For example, I landed my first internship with a small business owner. Then, I received my first part-time job with a small business owner. Now, I work full-time at a small business!
There’s a special place for small businesses in our communities. They’re more likely to give back to the local economy by providing jobs, funding local projects, and so much more. Our cities would not be the same without them!
Aside from ways to help your friends and coworkers during this time, here are 20 ways you can support your small business owners, whether you have the money to spare or you’re saving up your cash right now.
Free ways to help small businesses:
- Understand their point-of-view: Take the time to understand the mission of the small business you love and how it impacts the community without it!
- Leave a testimonial or review: Nothing makes a small business owner smile more than seeing people love their services or products!
- Sign up for their email newsletters: Small businesses take a lot of time to give information about the latest offerings and what’s happening behind-the-scenes through emails. Also, once they’re ready to sell a product, you’ll be the first to know!
- Use your social media: Take it to your social media channels to talk about what you love. Everyone has a voice and a platform through technology!
- Repost their social media content: Many small businesses and small business owners have a lot to say about their current situations right now. Use your social media to echo what they’re promoting!
- Use word-of-mouth: Spread the word about what small businesses are offering with your family or with your friends. Word-of-mouth is more powerful than you might think!
- Send a thoughtful note: Small business owners have feelings! If you love their business, give them an affirmational boost.
- Use their hashtags and location: If the business is active on social media, consider using their location and hashtags when you post about them, so other people can learn more!
- Reach out to your community and government leaders: I avoid politics on this blog and in most of my personal interactions, but please do find out what you can do to make a difference and support the businesses you love.
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick: If the small businesses you want to support have a storefront and you want to do them a favor by paying them a visit, by all means, please stay home. You’re not only contaminating the owner and their workers, but also, their entire shop and the healthy people who visit too.
If you’re feeling generous and you have the funds to help a small business with your dollars, here are some ways you can show your support:
Ways to support small businesses during COVID-19:
- Consider shopping small first: Before buying something you’d typically find at a big-name store, why not try getting those essentials at a smaller store? Go to a local coffee shop and buy coffee beans instead of going to Starbucks. Order a card online from your local stationery store or a digital designer instead of finding one at Target.
- Order takeout or delivery: If you’re considering to treat yourself with a nice meal, consider eating from restaurants local to the area.
- Tip well: Service workers are suffering right now. Offer a greater tip than you normally would if you appreciated their service.
- Buy gift cards for later: Use them on yourself, gift them to friends, buy gift cards to help out the businesses you know and love, so you can use them now for a later date!
- Consider a subscription service from your local businesses: Many local businesses offer monthly or bi-monthly subscription services. My favorite Austin-based candle company, The Burlap Bag, offers three handmade, vegan, cruelty-free 100% soy candles for $45. Lord knows I don’t need any more candles, but they make me happy. Plus, I have instant gifts to give if I can’t use them immediately.
- Pay for artwork: If you love making your spaces and things more beautiful, consider buying the work they sell online! Artwork can range from wall paintings to pottery to stickers!
- Pay for extra content: Many small businesses offer free content like online classes or workbooks. For example, I’ve been going to Austin-based Melody DanceFit classes since I started working full-time. I love them, but I can’t always make the workouts in person, so I happily spend a few extra dollars a month to follow along online. I love her mission and her heart to give back to the community!
- Book a service for a future date: If you consistently get your eyelashes, nails, or hair done, consider booking and paying for it now to use at a later time rather than waiting to see your stylist or technician later.
- Support their crowdfunding campaign: Donate your dollars to small businesses you love, so employers can pay their workers!
- Shop small online: If the small business you love has the option to shop their products or services online, buy gifts for friends or yourself to support them during this time.
What are some small businesses I should know about? How can we support them? Let me know in the comments below!