- Social Media
Instead of spending your time mindlessly scrolling, make an active effort to follow and share the posts of companies you want to support. You can amplify messages from small businesses with minimal effort and help spread the word to your friends and followers. If they are running some kind of special promotion to boost sales, retweet, share, etc., word of mouth is the most valuable advertising for small businesses.
- Order More Takeout
Most restaurants are in dire straits these days, if they are open at all. If you order delivery, be sure to tip well. These people are working on the front lines of a deadly disease. Clearly they need the money or they wouldn’t be doing so. Show them you care and give a little extra to help them and their families out.
- Buy Gift Cards
If you can’t visit the business right now, because they are temporarily closed, consider purchasing credits or gift certificates that you can use there later on. This cash flow will mean a lot right now while incomes are way down, and you can make use of your purchases when it’s safe to do so.
- Encourage Others
If you have employee drivers or owner/operators, encourage them to buy from local small businesses. Many people don’t think about where they are spending their money. Explain to your staff how important it is to patronize small businesses, rather than large corporations that are better positioned to absorb the impact of the pandemic.
For truckers, driving is our specialty. For many restaurants, the only source of income they have right now is takeout and delivery. Volunteer to deliver for an afternoon or evening for free. That little bit of cost savings helps their bottom line right now. Deliveries for medical supplies are also in demand. If you ask around, opportunities abound to help lighten the load and save some expenses for already struggling small businesses.
The bottom line is that small businesses are the backbone of our local communities. More specifically, if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays within your local economy. They are job creators, and most of those jobs are local jobs. Rather than having to commute to another city, employees work closer to home. Supporting local businesses also helps your fellow community members who work at them, keeping the money local, which supports your friends, and neighbors. In times like these, we can show our true American spirit by helping those that are desperate, and by no fault of their own.