Most of us want to help. In order to save many of our favorite places and things, we all need to support small business. Begin with these four ways today.
Everyone is going through a hard time due to the pandemic, but we can still help out. Obviously, current events have most principally affected people’s health, and many Americans have unfortunately lost loved ones. However, the pandemic has affected this country on more than just the level of health and safety. The economy has been severely affected, and many businesses were forced to make drastic changes. This is especially true of small businesses, which have been seriously impacted in a negative manner.
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When small businesses are hit financially, so is the rest of the American economy. This is because there are nearly 28 million small businesses across the nation, making them integral to its financial stability. Millions of people are employed by small businesses, and while many major corporations have the funds to withstand the recent crisis, small businesses do not. Thankfully, we can all do something right now to help support small business. Finding ways to help locally is more attainable than most realize; it’s getting that message across that can be difficult.
4 Ways to Support Small Business
1. Utilize Remote Shopping
Simply because a business is small, does not mean that you are incapable of supporting it online. Most small businesses have websites, and many sell their products online. They do so either through their own websites directly or through online stores like Etsy. Many of us already prefer to shop online rather than shopping in person. Nearly 67% of people that use the Internet report that they shop online because there is a wider variety of options available. This is very true, and ordering online also means that you can have items shipped directly to your house.
Needless to say, in some areas the post office has become overwhelmed by the influx of online shopping. This has led some to experience delays when receiving their orders, so be patient, especially with a small business. It’s still better to shop online versus abandoning your favorite small business altogether. Do you really want to risk exposure to the virus by shopping in a crowded superstore? Support small business instead.
2. Order Food Directly
Chances are that you’ve been using a lot of food ordering apps to get your favorite types of takeout these past few months. While these apps are convenient, they can take money out of the pockets of the restaurants themselves. When you look at your order total, you’ll probably notice a service fee on top of what you’re paying for your actual food. This is separate from the delivery fees and tips. This is collected, along with part of the delivery fee itself, by the company that owns the app.
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While these ordering apps are convenient and sometimes the only channels through which restaurants handle orders, other restaurants offer to deliver directly. Call them or use their small business website. This means that they get to keep the entirety of what they’re charging, ensuring that they get more money. Furthermore, those buying directly from restaurants also often pay less, as opposed to when they buy through an app.
3. Alternate Means to Support Small Business
Some small businesses have been more crippled by the recent pandemic than others. They may continue to struggle and face possible closures as this wave continues. Small businesses that offer more experiential or specialized products are at the greatest disadvantage. For example, hair salons and tattoo shops have experienced huge issues, as they cannot offer their services at home.
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Even after re-opening, many of these small businesses are operating at a limited capacity for safety reasons. Therefore, a lot of these types of businesses are now offering merchandise that their followers can buy online, often through social media. Usually this type of merchandise is branded, so indulge if you can. This gives you the added opportunity to spread the word about your favorite small business, while also giving them your business. Help them stay afloat until re-open their doors is possible.
4. Write Positive Reviews
If you’ve had a great experience with a small business, now is the time to write them a positive review. Keep writing them, because more and more small businesses rely on reviews for new business. Its how they grow and essentially come out of “nowhere.” Many among the 400 million entrepreneurs across the world will tell you that word of mouth started it all for them.
The fact is that a lot of small businesses are not well known beforehand. This means that they rely upon strong reviews and general word of mouth in order to bring in new business. It’s not enough for a business to remain stable. In order to grow, it must attract new customers. Needless to say, this can very difficult during the pandemic. Putting your good word behind a small business is incredibly important. You may even want to go beyond simply putting a review on a website like Yelp, and go as far to recommend these small businesses to your community on Facebook groups and beyond.
There are so many great ways in which you can help out your local small businesses. It’s also important for you to advocate for them in general. Stay abreast of the measures your local politicians are taking to support small business, then make your opinions known to them. While we all need to take care of ourselves, we can’t forget the businesses that support us daily.
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