While many businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, it is perhaps the small businesses that have struggled the most. While aid has been made available to local institutions in the form of PPP loans, this money has only gone so far.
Now, as the holidays approach, small businesses can more than ever count on local support to stay afloat. Here are five things you can do as an individual consumer to help small businesses in your neighborhood keep their doors open.
1. Buy gift cards from small businesses
Gift cards are a great thing for small businesses because they are a source of instant income. If you have difficult people on your holiday shopping list, it pays to buy gift cards from local businesses, as long as your loved ones have access to these stores or there is an option to purchase. items online and have them shipped for a reasonable price. This will show that you are thinking about your freebies, instead of falling back on the big retailers like Target and Amazon.
2. Write rave reviews
You don’t have to spend money on local businesses to help them thrive. Another great way to offer your support is to write positive reviews on sites like Yelp and community social media pages. If you tell your neighbors that the local pizzeria in town just served you the best eggplant sub you’ve ever eaten, it could inspire a lot more visits and generate a lot more income.
3. Meet friends there
The next time your friends ask you to dine at a well-known restaurant chain, suggest heading to a local restaurant instead. There is a good chance that you will enjoy a more unique menu and the prices will be comparable or even more competitive. Along those lines, resist the urge to hang out at your nearest Starbucks if there’s an independent cafe a few blocks away that’s teetering on the verge of needing to close.
4. Organize events there
You never know when a small business may be open for a holiday event. Rather than cramming people into your house for a holiday party, see if a local cafe will get you occupied for the night. This will save you the hassle of cleaning and could make the experience more unique.
5. Shop there
Of course, one of the best ways to support small businesses during the holidays is to shop there as often as possible, whether it’s for items you use yourself or items you plan to give as gifts. . Now you could pay a little more to buy products from a local business rather than a big box store. If this is straining your finances, it’s not the best thing to do – you shouldn’t risk going into credit card debt to do the right thing. But if you succeed, you could benefit from better quality products and better customer service.
Small businesses are important to communities. They create local jobs and help real estate values rise or stay strong. It pays to do what you can to support local businesses during the holidays – and really, all year round.