It has definitely been a trying time for all of us during this pandemic, and this is especially true for small businesses. Many have had to significantly limit operations and some, sadly, have had to close their doors indefinitely. Understandably, the challenges of the past nine months have directed everyone’s attention to their own struggles, but we cannot forget that we are all in this together. Canadian small businesses are the backbone of our economy and for our communities to survive we must do what we can to support them. In the spirit of community, we have compiled some ways that we can all support the small businesses that have always supported us.
Order Directly from the Restaurant
One of the biggest safety measures against Covid-19 is physical distancing. Continually rising case counts have resulted in the forced closure of many dine-in restaurants. You can still order and support them by using Uber Eats and/or one of the seemingly endless number of delivery apps out there… Convenient? Yes… But the restaurant ends up getting stuck with a hefty service fee. By ordering directly from the restaurant you save both yourself and the restaurant money. With WHF (work from home) still in effect for many, getting out for some fresh air is a must. Why not walk over to safely pick up your meal. Many restaurants have established their own delivery and pick- up services, with some even offering free delivery for their customers (meaning that you can remain safely in your home, enjoying your favourite TV show, and treating yourself to your favorite meal).
Leave a Positive Review
I think we all know the power of public opinion. Small ripples of positivity can create massive waves of progress during these difficult times. Many small businesses have been pushing to improve their online presence in wake of the lockdown. How can you help? Google your favorite businesses and write a positive review! And don’t just stop with Google reviews – spread the positivity via Facebook, Yelp, and wherever else you can leave reviews. You can talk about their friendly customer service or their products that keep you coming back for more. Those few minutes used to post a handful of words will go a long way in boosting that business’s reputation and increasing their visibility, helping them drive new sales.
Like, Comment, and Share
Most of us are spending more time staying connected through social media while staying safe and working from home as the pandemic drags on. In fact, internet usage has increased by 40% since the start of Covid-19. This means that the internet has never been a more powerful tool to support the small business community. Visit your favorite small business’ social media page, view their content, interact with them by liking and commenting. Let the world know (or at least your connections) that they’re here! Share their content with your friends and colleagues. In doing so, you bring new people in to experience their wonderful products/services, your favourite businesses gain new customers, and everybody wins.
Load Gift Cards
You’ve heard it before – cash is king. Purchasing gift cards from your favourite small business for future use could put that ‘pep’ back in their ‘step’ while helping to keep their operation afloat. Additionally, many small businesses are trying to adapt their physical locations to safely provide services to their customers. With the holiday season around the corner, gifting some gift cards from your favorite small business to your friends and family is the perfect way to offer your support (e-gift cards have become quite popular too).
Volunteer your services
If you have the time and the skills necessary, volunteering to help out a local business can be incredibly valuable to them. Business owners – especially now – are so busy focusing on survival and lack the time and resources to elevate their digital presence. Adapting to the digital world can be difficult, but an experienced volunteer can alleviate some of the stress and resources required to improve a website or a social media strategy. Helping a small business is rewarding on it’s own, but many have been known to negotiate a trade of goods for services.
Small businesses are the building blocks of our community. Our ongoing support is the key to their survival as they tirelessly work to adapt and change to the current landscape. Keep them in mind next time you’re thinking about buying that new shirt or treating yourself to some takeout… And remember, we’re all in this together.