Now more than ever local businesses need your support.
So, here’s a quick list of 17 ways to support them and help keep our economy going.
Not all of these even require a purchase! :)
If you’ve got the funds to support businesses and entrepreneurs, please do.
If you’re in a crunch yourself, there are things on this list that you can do, too – they won’t cost you a thing but a few minutes and they’ll make a huge difference!
1. ORDER IT DELIVERED –
This works for more than just food. Groceries, bookstores, clothing stores, flower shops – you’ll be shocked how many businesses are offering delivery now.
Or, use Postmates or other apps to get things brought to you.
Where you can order directly from the business or restaurant so they don’t have to pay extra fees for apps, and use the “no contact” options. Even if you aren’t sick, the delivery workers don’t know that and they’ll appreciate the speed and safety of leaving items at your doorstep.
2. THINK LOCAL FIRST –
Instead of ordering your home coffee from Amazon or Whole Foods (who’s so busy they’re focusing on more essential goods) call your local coffee shop – they’ve got coffee sitting on their shelves they’d love to sell you.
Or order from somewhere online like Kaladi Brothers coffee, they’re a local roaster I love from back home in Alaska.
Before you buy anything, ask yourself – is there a local or small business I could get this from that needs my support.
3. LOOK FOR NEW OPTIONS –
Many businesses have come up with creative new ideas for services that work in our new reality.
So look around and see what’s available! Look up your local businesses on Google or Facebook to see who’s doing what that you can support.
I’ve seen cleaners offering disinfecting services, a strip club started “Boober Eats” to deliver food… lots of businesses are trying new things – support their creativity.
4. TRY VIRTUAL VERSIONS –
Everyone from gyms to teachers to therapists are now offering virtual sessions/services. Give them a try!
It might not be the ideal, but you might be surprised how much you enjoy it – and either way you can enjoy knowing you’re supporting someone who needs you.
And look for the service providers who are already virtual. I know lots of tutors who’d love to virtually help you handle that extra time with your kiddos.
5. TIP MORE –
Anyone taking the risk of delivering things to your door, deserves your support – so tip them more than you usually would. And look for opportunities to tip providers you might not normally, it’ll mean a lot.
6. SHARE, RATE AND REVIEW –
This is for more than just podcasts (although, while we’re on this subject, please feel free to share rate and review your favorite podcasts, too).
Take the time to look for opportunities to share, rate and review your local businesses. It’ll encourage them AND help them reach more clients.
7. GET GIFT CARDS (for you, friends, family, clients) –
Call businesses directly, check out their websites, or take a look at supportlocal.usatoday.com.
Not only are you helping keep them in business, you’re also giving yourself or someone you care about a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to.
And think about more than just typical gift cards for restaurants. What about the smaller service providers you work with – your hair salon, nail salon, childcare providers…
8. KEEP SUBSCRIPTIONS ACTIVE –
Keep paying subscriptions if you can. Even if they’ve been temporarily suspended, you can call up a business and say, “Hey keep billing me, I want to support you guys.”
9. DON’T CANCEL –
Don’t Ask for Refunds or Cancellations. If an event or class has been cancelled, don’t ask for a refund. Ask to apply it to a future event or service or donate it.
We’ve got several tickets to comedy shows that aren’t happening at our local comedy club, and Hot Yoga classes we bought right before this whole thing went crazy.
But I’m not about to cancel or refund either of those – I’m excited to go later, it gives me something to look forward to.
10. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTISTS AND CREATIVES –
Seriously… artists, musicians, photographers, DJs, performance artists and creatives of all sorts rely on their exhibits and performances, so look for ways to support them right now.
And let’s be honest – we could all use a little more joy, music, art and entertainment while we’re stuck at home.
Are they on Patreon?
Can you hire them for a virtual private performance and turn it into a chance to connect your family or create a little customer appreciation party of your own?
Why not commission a piece of art or buy prints?
11. CONSIDER “PERSONAL SHOPPING” –
Many malls and department stores are honoring the “no more than 10” rule by limiting how many can be in their stores and offering personal shopping.
For introverts, now’s your chance to finally enjoy shopping – jump on that, people!
12. START A PROJECT –
Is there a home repair, home improvement, auto project or something else you can handle now?
In many areas, local companies are still allowed to come to you, if it’s under 10 people, and your local gardeners, handymen, auto repair, and others would love to help you.
13. MAKE CONNECTIONS & REFERRALS –
Who do you know that needs business? Who do you know that needs what those businesses have?
14. CREATE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES –
Host a virtual networking event. Connect the people you know who can help each other get creative and be inspired during these challenges.
And, this is for more than business… check on your extroverted friends and colleagues, they’re probably not okay.
Some of us have been training our whole lives for this social distancing thing, others haven’t. Remember that.
15. GOT VIRTUAL SKILLS? –
Got Virtual Skills? – Offer a free class or workshop to help other businesses.
Gives you a chance to support them, and invite them to work with you if they want more support, too.
16. SHARE THE CREATIVE PROMOTIONS YOU SEE –
It’l help those businesses get more visibility, which can lead to more sales.
And, it inspires other businesses to get creative, too.
17. REACH OUT AND SAY THANK YOU –
It’s tough right now for a lot of business owners. They need moral support. They need to know the community is behind them and wants to see them survive.
So just pick up the phone or send them an email or fb message – thank them for the service they provide and let them know you appreciate them.
P.S. Remember your virtual business people. I know from conversations, a lot of online entrepreneurs are worried right now, too, and they’d love your support and kind words! <3
Got more ideas? Share in a comment!!