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Everyone will be feeling the effects of the recent pandemic. The majority of people are now adapting to big changes such as working from home, losing their jobs or being furloughed due to COVID-19. In this uncertain time with many businesses temporarily closing or having limited services, the need to support small businesses is greater than ever.
Many local small businesses rely on face-to-face contact such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bookstores, gyms and local gigs to name a few. This makes social distancing even more difficult for the independent business community, as they are forced to rely on those nearby to buy local goods.
One of the benefits of working remotely is that it gives you the opportunity to shop local and help the small business community working in your area. There are unlimited reasons why you should make a conscious effort to help small businesses grow in these unprecedented times. One of the most obvious benefits of supporting small businesses is the economic impact to help local development.
The social impact is also important; the need to support local small business and shops is driven by the need for character, appeal and atmosphere of the community. During this time, sustainability is key, so the emphasis on small business support is important to help them continue their services, reduce redundancies and boost morale in the community.
Make a conscious effort to buy local by enforcing a support small business day in your household.
Encourage your household to get involved with ‘support small business Saturday’: order dinner from a local restaurant doing deliveries, sign up for an online gym class or send a gift to a friend, loved one or NHS worker from a local store (look for them online!).
Now is a great opportunity to start this effort, but the reasons to shop local are still important long after the pandemic is over.
The internet is a powerful tool to connect communities and offer support services for local businesses during isolation.
Writing positive reviews for local companies is a great way to boost their reputation and build traffic towards their online website, store or services.
Writing a kind review may also put a smile on the faces of the employees of the local business. During difficult times, it is especially important to be kind.
While most people’s lives may feel ‘on pause’ at the moment, after the pandemic we will press the play button again and resume to our daily routines.
However, these businesses may need your future support earlier in order to tide them through the period of social distancing. Pre paying for appointments, sessions, bookings and activities is a great way of supporting small businesses and having something to look forward to in the future.
Reach out to your usual hairdresser or local nail salon and ask if they would like you to prepay for an appointment to help them out.
If you are unsure how to support small businesses by booking future services, then why not buy a gift card for a friend or loved one.
Now is the time to spread kindness and buying a gift card is a great way to make someone’s day and help to support local business in the community.
The difference between small and large businesses is that while large businesses focus on selling a large range of products at optimum prices, smaller businesses primarily focus on a niche target.
Because of this, they are more likely to offer you a bespoke deal. If you are looking for ways to save money but want to continue to support local business, then ask them if instead of cancelling you could pay in installments, get a discount, or ‘hold’ your subscriptions instead of cancelling them.
Social media is a powerful tool to share information, so use it for the greater good.
Share your preloved items from local stores and promote them on your platform, share a support small business meme or graphic to cheer up your followers and encourage them to support local businesses.
Edit your profile with supporting small business quotes to spread awareness, and follow up these quotes with examples of how you are supporting local businesses.
For the majority, their day-to-day life will have drastically changed during the COVID-19 outbreak. While you may be unable to do the majority of things in your usual daily routine, try looking for alternatives online.
This will keep a sense of normality and familiarity for you during isolation and help small businesses at the same time. For example, subscribe for an online class that you would usually use offline.
Support local artists or musicians by joining their online live tours, podcasts, virtual concerts and shows - donate if you are able to, or spread the word by sharing on social media.
If you need to cancel an order or event, try to firstly seek an alternative option, for example by changing the date and time instead. Enquire to see if you are able to reschedule rather than cancel, and if this is not possible, then ensure that you cancel in plenty of time.
This will help to prevent wasting time and resources the small business, as well as giving them the opportunity to find a new customer for that service or product. If you do need to cancel and can afford to do so, then why not suggest a partial refund, or perhaps even don’t ask for a refund at all!
If you get a delivery then smile and be kind to the person delivering your item. Offer to support senior citizens in your street by posting them an ‘I Can Help Message’.
Send a gift from a local business to NHS workers or a friend or relative who you know is struggling. Buy fresh fruit from local stores instead of the large supermarkets. Leave positive reviews online and share uplifting posts on social media. Stay connected, stay positive and stay kind.
Give A Grad A Go are keen to support other local businesses and employees in our community at this difficult time. Please take a look at our blogs to help you know what to do when made redundant and how to stay positive when unemployed.
We are also here to help companies with their recruiting from home and job seekers looking for a new role remotely, so please do get in contact if you have any recruiting needs or if you are looking for a job. We would be delighted to support you and offer our bespoke service at this unprecedented time.