Easy Ways To Help Small Businesses Right Now
This has been quite the doozy of a year, amiright??
From viruses and protests, to hurricanes and wildfires (and all falling on an election year), we’ve all had about as much as we can take. But small business owners have been especially stressed these last 6 months.
From being allowed to open and then having to close again, and then being able to reopen but only with limited customers or outside seating, (and a whole lot more), it’s been rough.
Unlike larger businesses with more options for maintaining income or being able to stand still for a while as things get back to normal, small business can’t take the hits that have been coming at them.
As a small business, we know all about how hard things have been lately, and we’re s very thankful for our customers who have stood by us through it all.
As small business supporters, we’re also always looking to help others out in any way we can. Sometimes it costs nothing to do a little something for a local business.
Whether you’re a small business owner, know someone who is, or are big fans of some local spots in your area, you can help out!
Here are some ways you can help small businesses right now:
**Opt for Local Stores Over Chains When Possible
The general idea is to purchase from small stores or businesses during this time whenever possible. Even if you don’t have extra money you spend, heading to the corner market for groceries over the big box store can make a major difference for that business owner. This is ultimately a positive practice all the time, but it’s especially important now that many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat.
**Purchase Gift Certificates
If you can afford it, purchase gift cards from your favorite local businesses during this time. You’ll be supporting their operations when they need it most, and when businesses reopen, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite goods and services that you’ve already paid for.
If your favorite small business still isn't open or if you don't feel comfortable shopping in public yet, consider buying a gift card. Buy one for a friend, and encourage that friend to pay it forward.
We’re loving this one as we, and many of our small business neighbors are ever so appreciative of a gift certificate purchase!
You can buy now and use later; Be sure to buy lots as the holidays get closer and the names on your gift list can be crossed off, one-by-one!
(Buy A Pinot’s Gift Certificate): https://www....-certificates
**Fundraise In A FUN Way!
In addition to small businesses having a rough go of it during the pandemic, fundraising has taken a hit, too.
Non-profits and other organizations who have always depended on fundraising events to help them stay afloat have had to get pretty creative when it comes to how they can raise money under social distancing guidelines.
If you're looking for a great way to raise money for you favorite charity or organization, OR want to host a large (virtual) paint party for any other reason, we can help you out!
(Learn all about our large virtual parties here): https://www....nots-palette-
**Order Takeout or Delivery
Restaurants in many states and cities are not open for dining in. However, you may still be able to get your favorite dishes delivered to your door. Or you could try picking up meals from those that offer it — just order ahead to avoid waiting in lines.
**Purchase Products Online
For retail businesses where you’d normally shop in person, see if they’re offering online orders at this time. Even if their website isn’t set up to do so, they might offer flash sales on social media or other platforms.
**Share Your Favorites on Social Media
You don’t need to have extra money to support small businesses during this time. If you’re concerned about your own finances but still want to help, shout out some of your favorite companies, products, or promotions on social media to let your friends know.
**Connect with Companies Online
You can also help small businesses increase their online reach simply by interacting with their profiles. Follow a few more of your favorites, and then like and comment on their posts to improve their engagement. This will help more of their content show up in others’ feeds.
**Leave Positive Reviews
Are there businesses in your area that you’ve always meant to leave a review for and just never got around to it? This period where you’re killing time at home is the perfect opportunity to help them gain some social proof and improve their online rankings. And it’s free!
**Refer People Directly
Of course, you can also help simply by talking about your favorite small businesses to others via text, phone calls, or video calls.
**Keep Memberships Going
Subscription or membership based businesses like gyms and fitness studios rely on steady sources of monthly income from members. Since many of these businesses have closed, customers are likely to get refunds or pauses on their memberships. However, if your income isn’t affected by shutdowns, consider keeping these memberships as-is.
**Take Online Classes
Additionally, some gyms and similar businesses are finding ways to provide value through online classes. Even if you don’t belong to one already, spending extra time at home may be the perfect excuse to try something new while also supporting a local company.
**Use Financing to Purchase Larger Items
Many small businesses offer financing or layaway options for larger purchases. Don’t purchase items you can’t afford, but if there’s something you were planning on buying anyway, now is the perfect time to get a good rate and keep your favorite shops afloat.
**Create a Community Organization
If you want to support a variety of businesses in your area and get others involved, consider creating a community fund or support group. You can either collect money or come up with creative ideas to help local businesses. Use social media or local forums to facilitate conversations with others in your area.
**Start a Local Business Directory
To help all the businesses in your area get more attention, create an online directory where people can easily find companies to support. You can even keep it going once foot traffic restores to facilitate a quicker recovery.
If you can afford it, tip restaurant employees and delivery drivers a bit extra during this time. This helps them make up for some of their lost earnings and helps their employers feel a bit less strained.
**Start New Home Projects
Being stuck at home is the perfect excuse to do some light remodeling or redecorating. Purchase supplies from a local hardware store or order from online decor shops to make your space feel cozy during this prolonged period.
**Take Up a New Hobby
It’s also a great opportunity to learn or try new things, like painting, playing a musical instrument, or building model cars. Purchase the supplies you need from small retailers. And get your information from small business owners as well. For example, there might be a piano teacher in your area offering online lessons or sharing videos on YouTube.
**Contribute to Crowdfunding Campaigns
People around the country are starting crowdfunding campaigns to support small businesses and their employees that need financial assistance. Browse GoFundMe or social media to find causes you can contribute to.
(...Or Get a Campaign Started)
If you can’t afford a donation or if there’s not a campaign started for your favorite local business, you could be the person who gets one off the ground. Consult with the company first to see what their needs are
**Buy Quarantine Gifts for Friends
Want to do something nice for the people in your life who are having a hard time? Purchase gifts from your favorite small retailers and have them shipped directly to your favorite people.
**Stock Up on Items You’ll Need Later
You might also purchase items that you don’t need immediately, like gifts for birthdays that are a few months off or summer gear for your family to use in the backyard.
**Purchase Virtual Products
Lots of small businesses are getting creative during this time by offering virtual or downloadable versions of their products. You may even be able to buy these for a lower rate than the physical products.
**Ask Business Owners How You Can Help
Some business owners may need help in areas outside of the obvious ones. If you know any entrepreneurs in your area or online, reach out and ask if there’s anything specific they need. Even if there isn’t, they’ll probably appreciate the sentiment.