The ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic has taken a dangerous toll on one’s physical and mental health worldwide. Compelling social distancing, shutdowns, and self-quarantines, the economy of industries, businesses, and restaurants are in shambles. But amidst all, the most to bear the brunt and verging on facing existential crisis are the small local businesses. This article talks about how to support small businesses since they’re one crucial aspect.
As per the report released by the NFIB Research Center, the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted 76% of small businesses worldwide. The Indian economy is induced to shrink 5% in FY21 as per the weak demand and subsequent lockdown.
When to support a small business?
In today’s volatile environment, tiny local outfits rely heavily on your patronage to thrive; every penny is precious to them. When an emotional appeal of go local is being made in recent times, you should consider the advantages of turning to locally owned independent businesses.
Community support and Economic Impact
By supporting local businesses, you show that you care for the local community. Local outfits utilize local companies such as local service providers, banks, and farms, making a holistic approach in pumping the local economy. Small business owners will return your favor through fundraisers and special events. Every cup of coffee bought by you from the local café, every bike chain you repair and lube from the local service station, or getting your dog groomed from the nearby pet parlor helps the owners provide wages for their workers.
Tiny drops make a mighty ocean. As you know, big giants like Apple and Amazon have begun from a garage. Apart from helping create local jobs, who knows, you are probably funding a potential future retail biggie by supporting small businesses!
Personalized Customer Service
Small Business Owners will greet you with a smiling face and good service. They are keen to know the personal likes and needs of every customer they come across. This is when you support a small business, and they genuinely want to help.
Innovation and Competition
It’s a mammoth task for small businesses to stay afloat. Hence they constantly have to add new products to their inventory. Large retailers tend to focus on the most popular items, whereas smaller businesses have the freedom to fill smaller niches with less common and more innovative products.
This innovation ignites creativity and new ways to sell goods and services. If you are looking for something unique, small shops are your perfect destination. When there are many small businesses, that fuels a deeper competition, which helps keep the prices low and innovation high.
Less Infrastructure and Low Maintenance
Local shops tend to require fewer public services and less infrastructure than shopping malls and chain stores. Small businesses clustered near residential zones may reduce automobile use and traffic congestion.
How to support a small business:
There are so many small ventures out there, and it’s so important to shop small and support local businesses when you can. This may reduce the convenience factor for some shoppers. Still, it also allows keeping a part of the economy that has particularly taken a nasty hit by the impact of coronavirus — small businesses.
Our local businesses need our help to survive and stay in the race if we want our communities to look anything like they did a few short, harrowing months ago. Here are a few things that you can do.
Consider a small player before hitting ‘buy’ on a biggie.
The most important thing to remember while helping small businesses in your community is that you are the investor in these businesses. Many small businesses would be glad to order supplies and deliver them to your doorstep. Consider the small players before you spontaneously buy from Amazon or Myntra.
Spread the word on social media
Social media is being used on a full-fledged model, thanks to social distancing. When you spotlight a local business on your social media network, it can have a catalytic effect: You’re making your network aware of the company and its contribution. So next time when you find out that the corner pastry shop sells some luscious pastries, don’t forget to share it on your Instagram or Facebook.
Buy gift cards and their services if you need
Even if you don’t need a new hoodie or piece of luggage right now, purchasing gift cards or certificates will show them your support and keep the cash flow coming in during closures.
In the ongoing pandemic, we are buffing our hands with sanitizer now and then. Various local distilleries have made a move to meet up the demand. So, next time you’re looking to stock up your liquor shelf, call your local distillery to see if they can also throw in some hand sanitizer.
Coronavirus has generated the ultimate cancel culture, but all those missed reservations and skipped services are stressing local workers. You ask for a refund, or cancelling the event will only worsen their plight. If you can, schedule works with a painter, a plumber, or a salon.
Simply knowing that work is heading their way can release some anxiety and make a big difference in helping them withstand this difficult time.
“Nobody is taking your deposit and using it to buy a Jaguar, those funds are used to keep companies and contractors afloat as they work towards your and our common goal,”
says NYC wedding and event planner –Marcy Blum.
Take an Online Course or Workshop
Businesses are getting creative and adaptive when it comes to connecting with customers while social distancing. You can’t go to dine out with your friends or take your special one on a date, nor can you hit the gym.
But restaurants are offering free online cooking classes, and gyms are doing live Zumba and aerobics. Be a part of whatever they’re offering, and if you can spare some bucks, donate to show your appreciation. Don’t forget to give any feedback to the local business to improve their offering.
Towards the conclusion
As we conclude on how to support a small business, it is essential to know that they foster local economies, flourish entrepreneurship, and provide local job opportunities. They play a crucial role in uplifting their neighbourhood and communities. Retail chains virtually reflect their same version and values irrespective of their locations. On the contrary, independently owned local businesses reflect the needs and culture of their neighbourhood.
From sharing a bit of their passion, dream, and creativity with you to promoting regional speciality and authenticity, small businesses propel innovation. We, as consumers, can make conscious decisions to aid the local businesses and keep the economy running. Do let us know more tips in the comments!