COVID-19 has caused financial hardship throughout the United States. Families and businesses alike are struggling to make ends meet, and some are just barely scraping by. No matter your personal situation, there are several ways to help small businesses in your own community survive during these unpredictable times. Here are some zero and low-cost options to explore.
1. Like, Comment, and Share on Social Media Pages
Social media has become a dominant source for advertising. Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, and Facebook are popular platforms that are utilized to meet a business’s marketing objectives. With the ability to create a business page and to create, post, and share content, a business can use social media to essentially make a name for themselves as well as share information about their services, products, and employees.
With just over 65% of social media user share, Facebook dominates all social media. Instagram and Twitter are also platforms that many small and single-person businesses utilize to promote themselves. To help small businesses stay afloat, like, comment on, and share their posts. This way, your followers can become aware of that business and the services and products they have to offer. By doing this, you’re helping a business gain exposure and potential clientele. It doesn’t cost a penny to like, comment on, or share posts on social media, so help small businesses in this easy and free way.
2. Post About Your Own Positive Experiences
Another way to help small businesses gain exposure and new customers on social media is by sharing your own positive experiences and posting them on your social media pages. If you’ve bought clothing or jewelry from a small business, take a picture of the product or yourself wearing it. Post the picture with a positive caption, tag and shout-out the business, and include a link to the business’s website. This way, your followers can easily click on the website and look at products they may be interested in purchasing.
Many people look to others’ recommendations, especially when it comes to fashion and design. By sharing your own experiences and writing positive messages, other people may follow suit.
3. Write Online Reviews
Websites like GlassDoor and Yelp provide customer and employee reviews of businesses for the public to see. Consider writing positive online reviews for small businesses in your community. Many individuals look to these kinds of websites to see if a business is reliable, safe, trustworthy, and efficient.
For instance, roughly 50% of all instances of the common cold occur during the fall and spring seasons. If a daycare doesn’t take this into consideration and allows sick children to continue to come and infect others, then parents may pull their children out and write nasty reviews so other parents don’t send their own kids there. Negative reviews could significantly hurt a business, while at the same time positive reviews can undoubtedly help a business gain exposure and grow within a community. Consider how you can help a business by simply writing a positive review either on a review website or on the business’s website itself.
4. Buy Gift Cards for Friends and Family
Since COVID-19 restrictions have caused businesses to shut down, many have offered the option for customers to purchase gift cards. This is a great way for businesses to earn money while they’re unable to physically provide services and sell products. For holiday and birthday gifts to family members and friends, consider buying a gift card from a small business. Whether it be a family-owned salon, a small car repair shop, or a diner, the purchase will be greatly appreciated by the business owner and the giftee.
5. Purchase From Small Businesses When You Can
If small businesses in your community are open, try to purchase from them as often as possible. Ordering take-out for dinner from a local restaurant and getting a car repaired or detailed from the local mechanic are great ways for small businesses to earn money and provide for their customers. If you’re part of the 33% of renters that move each year and you’ve recently started renting an apartment or house, consider purchasing trinkets and decorative pieces for your new home from locally-owned boutiques as well as small businesses online. Be sure to share your purchases online so friends and family can see your new items and perhaps buy from the businesses, too.
6. Attend Events Held By Small Businesses
Many small businesses hold events so customers can meet owners, learn about products and services, and mingle with others in the community. Karaoke nights, drink-and-shops, and sales events are some examples of events that small businesses may hold. Consider supporting local businesses by attending these events. This gesture shows that you’re supportive and are willing to help small businesses grow in your community.
Small locally-owned and online businesses need our help to stay afloat during these unprecedented times. Show your support by utilizing social media, writing an online review, making purchases when you can, and showing support during community-based business events. You never know what comments, shares, and attendance can mean for a small business in your community.