There is no question that times have been tough for us all over the last few months. The coronavirus crisis has impacted and affected each of us in different ways and to contrasting degrees. The same goes for businesses. While the consequences of Lockdown and the COVID-19 restrictions have impacted all businesses, the extent of this has been varied.
Unfortunately smaller business have primarily been hit the hardest. Subsequently these local retailers are those that most require our support. However it can be tricky to know how to help; be it in a financial or non-financial manner. To help you support your small businesses, we have compiled a list of ways and actions that you can take to make a difference. Here’s how you can support local businesses during the pandemic.
Engage on social media
A huge number of small businesses rely on word of mouth and social media as their primary forms of marketing. To help support a small business, follow them on social media and like or share their posts. This is a really valuable way of helping to raise the profile and online engagement of the business. It is also completely free on your part while still having a significant impact.
Restaurants and cafes are once again taking a big hit due to the tighter restrictions. To help combat the effects of this, many businesses are now offering take-away services or “click and collect”. If you happen to have a little spare cash or are looking to celebrate something, this is a great way to treat yourself and also help out a local business. All for the sake of the economy of course!
Try somewhere new
Look, fair enough, we have probably had enough shake-ups and adaptations in the last few months to last us a lifetime! But for a positive change, consider visiting a new or different local business. Equally, instead of popping in for a take-away coffee at your usual chain, try an independent alternative instead. The independent and smaller businesses will be hit the hardest by this year’s events. By placing your support behind them – whether through social media engagement or purchases – you are helping to encourage their future.
Buy a voucher
If you are in a position to financially support a local business then finding out whether they offer vouchers is worthwhile. This allows you to easily support a local retailer during these tough periods. It also means that you can treat yourself (or somebody else!) to something prepaid. Your future self will be thrilled with you and so will your local business! Win-win!
Leave an online review
This is another valuable response that will not leave you out of pocket! Like most people, I tend to research the reviews of something before buying it. I have often been convinced or dissuaded by these reviews to make my purchase. This is particularly true of online shopping when the customer feedback is so accessible. As online retail is so prominent in the current climate, leaving a positive or encouraging review can make a huge difference to a small retailer.
Get a head-start on your Christmas shopping!
There’s no denying that Christmas is going to be a little different this year! And chances are that due to public health concerns, most of us will turn to online retailers to organise our presents. Instead of heading straight to your Amazon account, consider checking out Irish and smaller local retailers that also sell online or through sites such as Etsy and Instagram. Not only will you be guaranteed gifts that are unique and thoughtful but you will be helping to support local businesses too!
Do you have any tips on how to support local businesses during the pandemic?