Show Your Local Businesses Some Love
By Electric Pen
June 11, 2020
When the quarantine began, our neighbor Michael dropped off homemade cinnamon rolls that we ate while still warm, the sugar glaze gooey and comforting. Such gestures of unsolicited kindness may seem small, but they make a big difference. As we show compassion to the people around us, we also look for ways to support local businesses as they struggle to stay afloat. Here are a few ideas to do so:
Give a shout out. Post a glowing review for your favorite business. Positive Google reviews, for example, can bring much value to a small company. They increase consumer trust and help boost a company’s local search ranking, making it easier for customers to find them. Writing a Google review is simple. Just follow these three steps:
- Type the business name in the search bar
- On the Google knowledge panel (the right-hand sidebar that comes up), click on “Write a Review.”
- Rate it, review it if you wish, and then post!
Say “no, thank you” to a refund. That concert you bought tickets for was canceled. Same for that show you’d been waiting to see. Instead of asking for a refund, consider writing the tickets off as a donation to the arts.
Continue to pay the people you typically pay. Your hairstylist, your child’s music teacher—you miss them—but you can still pay them! You can also schedule an appointment for a later time. This may reduce some of their anxiety as they know work is on the horizon. If you book out future dates, ask about paying in advance. Payment-sharing apps such as Venmo provide you with secure, zero-contact forms of money transfer.
Shop online—locally—and use curbside pick-up. While brick-and-mortars are closed, most businesses can fulfill orders by mail, and many now offer curbside delivery. Check to see if your regular go-to spots have new services. My favorite clothing boutique now sews and sells face masks.
Purchase gift cards. Consider a gift certificate—it’s a quick way to give a business some much-needed cash.
Tip like you mean it. Your grocery delivery driver and restaurant food handler are going through significant risks to help feed you and your community. As they are probably working less, the tips you provide have an impact. If you can, leave gratuity that is worthy of their efforts.
Don’t make saying, “I support local businesses” feel like an empty phrase. Keep in mind that our contributions can be game-changers for local shops right now.