8 Ways to Support Small Businesses in 2020
Sadly, surveys have shown that up to 50% of American small businesses may fail as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these businesses haven’t been able to bring in much income in months now, and it’s taking a huge toll on their ability to continue operating moving forward.
With this in mind, it’s obviously more important than ever before for people to support small businesses in their areas. You and your family should shop small businesses when you can in an effort to help save some of the small businesses in your city or town.
There are lots of different ways in which you can support small businesses in the weeks, months, and years to come. Here are eight ways you can do it.
1. Order Products And/Or Services From Small Businesses
The easiest way to support small businesses is by placing an order with them today. Most small businesses are struggling to bring money in right now, which is why it’s so important for people to order things early and often from them if they can afford to do it.
Don’t feel like cooking tonight? Order a pizza or a few sandwiches from one of the small businesses that sell food near you.
In need of a new outfit for an event, you’re going to be attending? Rather than running to the nearest chain department store, pay a visit to your local clothing retailer instead.
Looking for a great birthday gift for someone who is very special to you? You can’t go wrong with getting them a piece of handmade jewelry from a small business.
You don’t necessarily need to spend $1,000 at a small business to make a difference. You can help them start generating some income by placing a small order for a product or service that they sell.
2. Purchase Gift Cards From Small Businesses
Another easy way to support small businesses in your area right now is by asking them if you can purchase a gift card or gift certificate from them. Most small businesses would be more than happy to provide you with gift cards that you can use at a later date.
This is one of the best ways to support small businesses because it gives them the money they need now without forcing them to provide you with a product and/or service. It’ll help them stay afloat for a little bit longer and allow you to use your gift cards once the small businesses get their feet back under them.
3. Resist the Urge to Ask Small Businesses for Refunds
If you purchased something from a small business within the last few months and don’t want to keep it for whatever reason, conventional wisdom will tell you that you should return it. Under normal circumstances, that’s what you should do when you buy something and then realize you’re not going to be able to use it.
But in this instance, it might not be a bad idea to hold off on asking a small business for a refund. Even if that refund is only for $50 or so, that $50 could go a long way towards helping that small business work its way through a rough patch.
You should hang on to whatever it is you want to return and try to return it later. Or better yet, you should give the item away to someone you know or donate it and let the small business keep your money.
4. Connect With Small Businesses Through Their Websites and on Social Media
A lot of small businesses are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to work on the long-neglected aspects of their companies. For example, many of them are beefing up their websites during their downtime and/or working on building up their social media networks.
You can support small businesses by visiting a company’s website and providing your email address to them for their mailing list. You can also do it by sending them a request on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
These are great ways to show small businesses that you care about them and that you want to see them succeed. The owners of these small businesses will feel much better about pushing forward when they see all the support they’re getting day in and day out.
5. Leave Positive Reviews for Small Businesses Online
In the past, studies have suggested that more than 90% of people check out a small business’s online reviews prior to patronizing them. They want to make sure that they’re going to be buying something from a small business that they can trust.
If you’ve left positive reviews for small businesses in your area in the past, you don’t have to circle back around and do it again. But if you haven’t gotten around to leaving small businesses reviews, now would be a terrific time to do it.
Visit sites like Yelp and Facebook and leave five-star reviews for as many small businesses as you can. This will increase the chances of other people in your community buying products and/or services from these small businesses.
6. Tell Your Family and Friends About Small Businesses You Love
While just about everyone uses online reviews these days to gauge whether or not they should give their business to a small business, that doesn’t mean you should sleep on the importance of word of mouth. Many small businesses still rely on their customers to tell other people about their business for them.
If you know a great pizza place, an amazing clothing store, or an incredible jewelry maker, don’t keep them all to yourself! Make it a point to tell those in your immediate circle about how much you like them.
People are going to be more likely to visit small businesses when you tell them all about how much you love them. Don’t be shy when it comes to spreading the word about the small businesses in your area that you love the most.
7. Let Local Government Leaders Know How Much Small Businesses Mean to You
Local governments all across the country are doing everything in their power to try and help small businesses maneuver their way through the coronavirus pandemic. From helping them secure funding to working to keep them open, they’re doing whatever they can think of to lend a hand to small businesses.
Still, they could be doing more—and many of these local governments will do more if they feel like their community is pushing them to do it. You should reach out to your local representatives and ask them to do more to help small businesses to survive the pandemic.
And if you feel like your local government leaders aren’t doing enough to support small businesses, you should keep that in the back of your mind the next time they’re up for reelection. They don’t have your community’s best interests at heart if they’re not willing to step up and do what’s right for small businesses, which is why you should consider voting for someone else.
8. Find Small Ways to Say “Thank You!” to Small Business Owners
No matter how good or bad things are for small business owners right now, almost all of them are stressed out beyond belief. They have no idea what the future holds for their business—and it scares a lot of them.
There aren’t many things that you can say or do to take their stress away. But you might be able to brighten up their day—and maybe even their week or month—by finding a way to say “thank you!” to them for all that they do for your community.
You can offer your thanks to a small business owner by:
- Paying for lunch to be delivered to their small business one day
- Dropping off a thank you card for them (and possibly having a bunch of people from your community sign it)
- Volunteering to help with any tasks that might need to be done while they’re waiting to get back to business as usual
You’ll be surprised to see how far a simple gesture can go when you’re saying “thank you!” to a small business owner. You might light a fire up under them by showing them just how much people care about the well-being of their small business.
Support Small Businesses in 2020 and Beyond
Unfortunately, it’s not going to be possible for people to save all small businesses in 2020. You can support small businesses all you want, but some of them just aren’t going to bring in enough money to remain open.
Don’t allow that to discourage you, though. Try some of the things listed here to support a small business that you care about.
You could end up making a much bigger difference than you think when you shop locally and show your unwavering support for small businesses.
Are you a small business owner looking for ways to keep your business going despite the coronavirus pandemic? Read the articles on our blog to get some great suggestions.