7 Ways to Support Small Businesses During COVID-19
May 15, 2020
While some states are still under a ‘shelter-in-place’ order, other states are starting to unfold plans to re-open their economies. As we start to emerge from lockdown and businesses start to reopen, one thing is clear: small businesses around the globe have been hit hard.
In fact, according to a recent Main Street America survey of the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses, over 56% of those surveyed indicated that their revenues have been reduced by more than 75%.
But not only are the statistics in from Main Street America, but they’re also in from my own personal experience.
During this time, I have been fortunate enough to be consulted by small businesses looking for ways to have their presence felt even as they have been limited from being up and running at full capacity. And through this, I have been able to provide insights and strategies to help them get on the path that turns things around. Of course, some of these center around promotional products but much of what we do here focus on areas related to improved customer connection.
Many of these businesses have made up the backbone of our society. And we support our economy when we support them as they begin to rebuild.
Looking for some ways to deepen your side of the customer connection equation that supports small businesses near you?
Here are some easy ways that everyone can help:
Buy Local - Online. Most brick-and-mortar businesses have a website where you can place order for their products and/or services. If you need to buy the product or service, consider purchasing online from someone close by. If they offer something that is a subscription offer (like coffee sent each month, regularly scheduled landscaping or other types of orders placed regularly), consider signing up for the automatic shipment option.
Order Take Out/Curbside. One of the hardest-hit sectors of the economy is mom-and-pop restaurants and stores. Many are now being allowed to re-open with restrictions or were previously allowed to stay open and offer curbside delivery (nurseries, auto repair, small grocery stores, and other businesses that deliver necessary goods). Most of these businesses offer pick up or delivery services, so you can help by taking advantage of the services and give yourself a night off from cooking or curbside pick up so that necessities are still accessible.
Buy a Gift Card. Maybe you can’t use their products or services right now, but you can always buy a gift card. Give one to a friend and ask them to pay it forward. This is great for personal services like hair and nail salons, personal trainers, and other independently owned and operated stores.
Give a Shout Out, Not At. Leave a five-star review for your favorite small businesses online. Or let your friends know how much you like the business by giving a shout out on Facebook or Instagram. It’s free, and it will create buzz around their business that will help them in the long run. And more than ever remember - be patient as many businesses are having to raise costs or rates because of the added expenses they are incurring due to COVID-19 concerns. Don't shout at the staff. Understand that the best way to improve your side of the customer connection equation is to support them by being patient and understanding.
Offer Your Expertise. In many cases, small businesses are having a hard time adjusting to the new normal. Do you have some expertise that may help them? Perhaps you are a web designer, finance wizard, marketing maven or business coach and your skills would make a tremendous difference.
Wear Their Brand. Businesses are doing more to raise their brand awareness. They are offering t-shirts, hats, gym wear and other promotional products sporting their brand name and logo. Help them raise their awareness by purchasing their brand items and using them in support of small businesses near you while you are out in public.
Tip Generously. If you are ordering in, don’t forget that most service workers rely on tips as a key component to their income so add a little extra to what you would normally give them. It will let them know that you appreciate all they are doing.
Take A Virtual Class. Many gyms, personal trainers and others are offering video classes to their clients. Take advantage of them to stay in shape or learn a new skill. Or give one as a gift.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone and we are all in this together. These are just a few ways to help give back to your community and make the transition to our new normal a little easier for the small businesses around you.
Want to show your appreciation in other ways? Give us a call at 949-888-7837 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to set up a complimentary strategy session with you.
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