It has always been important to support your local businesses for many reasons, but now more than ever they need our help. The impact goes way behind the simple act of supporting. It creates jobs, grows the local economy and helps your neighbors, friends and family members have a living.
There are more ways to help than having to break to bank to support that small coffee shop, restaurant or clothing boutique. Things that are essentially free for you, but means so much more for those people owning those places.
In the Maritimes, we are lucky to have so much variety when it comes to small businesses. We will explore a little bit more how you can be part of the solution. There are many ways that you might find surprising, but it still makes a difference!
QUICK STARTING GUIDE:
Buy Local: Choose locally owned, give gift cards, shop online from small businesses
Get digital: Visit their websites, rates their business, engage with their social media
Gratitude: Let them know you appreciate them in person!
HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES TODAY
Shop local or online: Many locally owned stores now have an online presence. You can easily pick up in store, get it delivered or shipped to your placed. The holidays are a great time to support them, but don't forget about them for the rest of the year.
One step at a time: Whether slowly switching your habits to buy locally made products to simply choosing a local restaurant instead of those big brands with all know about. Even if it's just choosing the coffee of a small owned coffee place, consider it as your treat of the week!
Gift cards: Purchasing them and giving them to friends/family helps the business not only know they are being supported, but it means the people who you give them to might discover those places and become regulars as well.
Order takeout/delivery: Many restaurants have made a tremendous shift in the past years to become more “virtual”. This includes ordering online and having their food ready at your fingertips. The bonus part is that you can order in advance and skip the lines!
Online classes: Many yoga teachers, artists or just about anybody who does in person classes might have options to offer their services online. It is maybe not convenient, but you can access to teachers you might have not otherwise been able to (especially if they live in another city).
Tipping: Even if it's just 5%, every tip adds up. They might have been affected lately with less hours, so adding a little sparkle of joy won't hurt them.
Gifting in advance: Do you have family or friends birthday's coming up? Want to give a gift to your customers, workers or clients? Choose something from that small gift store in your town. If it can be something made locally, even better!
Search closer to home before going to the giants: Looking for a soap, beer or just about anything else? Before buying from the giants in the industry, do a little research to see if you can find it locally or some alternative. You would be surprised how it is not as expensive as you might of thought. Plus, you can maybe get it faster.
HOW TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES (FOR FREE!)
Social Media: Share their posts, interact with their pages or leave them good reviews. It takes 5 seconds or less to help them. By getting their businesses more exposures, you help them grow by having new clients potentially visiting them.
Reviews: Simply leaving them a review on social media or search engines, entice other customers to give them a try. It also helps them grow as a business by building the trust in between the clients & the business. 5 stars reviews suggested!
Newsletters: Don't worry, most businesses barely send any email. They understand nobody likes to be spammed. Plus, they might have special deals & info you would of known about otherwise.
Take pictures and share: Go visit their location and take pictures. You can either share it just on your social media profile (and maybe tag them) or show to friends.
Spread the word: Nothing is better for a business than word of mouth. Telling your friends, family or co-worker is a great way to show support.
Send them a message: Just a simple message to tell them how much you care about them is enough to make someone's day.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
As long you are choosing and commit to making small steps at the pace you are comfortable with, we are happy. It does not sound that hard right? Feel free to share what you love to do to support below. If you've got another way, feel free to share (and we will add it to the list!).