It’s no secret that the pandemic has taken a financial toll on both businesses and individuals. We all know that it’s more important than ever to support local, but if you yourself are struggling to balance your budget this can seem like a tricky prospect. Fortunately, there are still a variety of ways you can support your favourite local businesses without breaking the bank.
1. Leave them a review
We’ve all checked out the Facebook or Google reviews for a new restaurant, realtor, roofing company, etc. before buying to make sure we’re making the right decision. Make sure to leave a rave review for your favourite local spots so that when potential customers are shopping around their decision can be an easy one. This is a great opportunity to actively show local businesses that you care, and to articulate exactly what you like about them. They could definitely use the moral support right now.
2. Engage with their social posts
With so many companies relying heavily on social media to get the word out about their products and services, it can be difficult for smaller local businesses to cut through the noise without investing in social ads. By making a point to like, share, and comment on posts from local businesses, you can expand their reach and allow them to get their message out to more potential customers.
3. Word of Mouth
It’s almost a cliché at this point to say that the most effective form of marketing is word of mouth. People trust the opinion of another person significantly more that the barrage of advertisements we take in every day. Tell your friends and family about your favourite local Vietnamese restaurant, or the amazing landscapers who redid your backyard a few years ago. If you see someone looking for a recommendation on social media, be sure to chime in instead of scrolling on by. You’d be surprised how much it can help.
4. Shop Small
While businesses of all sizes are grappling with COVID-19, smaller businesses are naturally harder hit by economic decline. When it comes to your day-to-day purchases, try to shop as small and local as you can. If you do shop or eat at a bvigger chain, try to make sure it's one that's locally owned and operated so profits stay in our community. This one’s a bit of a cheat since it technically does involve spending money, but small changes in where you get the things you’d be buying anyway can have a big impact for local entrepreneurs.
With reduced capacities and the increasing popularity of large ecommerce sites like Amazon, it’s important to vote with your dollars. That said, don’t give up on supporting local if it doesn’t quite make financial sense for you. Entrepreneurs are human beings, and even just a kind word of appreciation can go a long way towards letting them know that they’re not alone, and that there’s hope on the horizon.