Local businesses are hurting with the effects of the Covid pandemic, especially the ones which depend on foot traffic like malls, restaurants, beauty salons, etc. Although foot traffic alone is not the only way to drive sales, repeat customers who like the barbershop in town, for example, cannot get their hair or beard professionally trimmed. Some restaurants have been able to sustain themselves with food Curbside pickup and deliveries, but how about the ones that can’t afford to keep doing business that way for months in? Major retailers generally have cash reserves, but chances are, the small papa shop down the street does not; this is how it usually is. Small local businesses usually do not have cash reserves to sustain themselves for many months closed or only getting 50% or less of their sales in. So, unfortunately, when driving by or walking around in the nice weather, we may see many favorite small places closing their doors permanently if they haven’t already done so.
As a community and as consumers (at least the ones that have not been so badly affected by this pandemic), there are things we can do to help some of these small businesses to stay afloat. Let’s check them out!
- Reschedule Planned Events
Imagine all of a sudden having all the scheduled events canceled from your agenda by customers you counted with having that income flowing in. This must be terrifying if you are the owner of a locally owned event space. If the money you already put down as a placeholder or deposit and it won’t affect your life not having that money now, you can reschedule the event instead of asking for a refund and canceling it altogether.
- Buy Gift Cards
Buy getting gift cards from your favorite places (the ones that offer them), it keeps some cash flow coming in and you can save it for later and look forward to doing something fun when all this is over. Some employers have had to cut their workers’ hours but having such a cash flow can help small businesses pay their hourly workers.
- Acknowledge Your Favorite Places on Social Media
Since people are staying more at home sue to social distancing, this means there are more eyes on social media pages browsing around, killing the “spare” time they once wished for but couldn’t have. Whether you “liked” a page, gave a “thumbs up” or highlighted the local business in any manner, your network of friends, family, and colleagues may receive some sort of notification and acknowledge it come to the knowledge that that local business exists and it is a good place, if they don’t know about it yet. In other words, let your network know that your favorite local business exists and encourage them to support them and do the same – pass the word along.
- Call Them for Delivery Service
Many small businesses have had to adjust. Therefore, they may be now offering services they didn’t before such as delivery, and may now be taking part in the delivery fever. Big players like Amazon have become richer during this time, so before you hit that “Proceed to Checkout” button, be an investor in local businesses and give the small players a chance to order and deliver supplies to you.
- Try a Local Business Directory
Besides doing your search for local businesses here on yebble, you can also try your city’s Chamber of Commerce where, hopefully, your local business has already placed their business listing to make it easier for you to find the service you need. Online business directories such as Woostah for all of Massachusetts, help small businesses connect to local, potential customers. Whether it be a plastering contractor to repair your walls and ceilings and a painting company to provide you with interior and exterior painting services, or an insurance agent to provide coverage for your assets, it is not difficult to locate local businesses for your needs (granted you don’t live in a remote area).
As a community, we can do a lot for our small businesses to stay afloat. One individual with limited resources may not be able to do a whole lot by him/herself, but as a team of committed individuals, we can punch a hole and make a difference. As businesses across the nation have re-opened or are getting ready to re-open, many may still be struggling as they adjust while needing to adhere to new guides and restrictions. So, let’s do our part!