Why the pandemic means we need to support local businesses more than ever.
Everywhere we look big brands and big box stores are on display. While these large companies have the money to buy online ads or billboards it’s small businesses that most impact on our local community. And it’s small business that has been mostly impacted by the pandemic.
Small businesses color and enrich local shopping by providing unique products and services that make our local communities great places to live. No one wants to live in a neighborhood where unique local stores are replaced with For Lease signs. These small businesses also provide the lions share of employment and often employ people we know. These are our neighbors, friends, and family so it makes sense to support them, and during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that these businesses survive for the health of our communities.
Here tips on how to support local businesses:
It sounds simple, but focusing your spending locally is the best way to support small businesses. Many of these businesses have adapted health safety procedures so you can visit in person. In a hurry or not feeling comfortable about in person shopping? Many of these businesses offer online shopping or take orders over the phone and offer curb-side pickup or in some cases will deliver.
Buy Gift Certificates from Local Businesses
Gift certificates make for a thoughtful birthday or thank you gestures and encourages others to shop local.
Order delivery or Take Out
You might not always be able to go to a store or restaurant, but maybe they can come to you. Delivery also helps employ a driver and other service staff. Any support for restaurants is really helpful as this sector took the biggest hit during the lock down and has yet to recover.
Mention a Small Business on Social Media
Helping get the word out about small businesses will help increase their profile and their customer base. Your friends and connections trust your endorsement. Review sites make it easier than ever to help small businesses online with good reviews. Use as much detail as you can. You can even update your review on your next purchase.
Reschedule Don’t Cancel
There are many reasons you may not be able to commit to a service you’ve booked. Instead of canceling, think ahead and reschedule the service and help keep that small business going.
Ask If They have a Payment Plan or If You Can Leave A Deposit
Paying in advance or offer a deposit to ensure the delivery of services is a gesture any small business would appreciate. And unlike large corporations, small businesses can offer flexible layaway plans. Here’s an idea, is there a large ticket item you would like to give that special someone at a future date? Make arrangements with a local business to make payments in advance and take delivery of the item on or just before that special day. The added bonus – purchasing this way instead of using your credit card means you save by not paying the high interest associated with credit card purchases.
Volunteer or Discount Your Skills to Businesses in Your Community
If a small business you know is struggling, offer your expertise. Are you a carpenter, online marketing maven, mechanic, painter, electrician, accountant, computer guru? See what you can do to help them out. This is a win-win situation, as whether it’s work or volunteer work it never hurts to have these small jobs on the resume or have these businesses give you an online review or endorsement.
During tough times, small businesses often operate with less staff. Small local businesses also take extra care because they can’t afford to have dissatisfied customers. So, relax and be patient, they value you.
Here at Medicine Hat Storage we do our best to support other local small businesses whenever possible. Our manager, Ron Heizelman, has worked in the city for over 20 years promoting other local businesses online and shopping within the community. Keeping it within our communities helps us all thrive.
~ Ron Heizelman