A lot of small businesses have been affected by the pandemic and are still feeling the sting from lockdown and restricted business operation. Now it’s more important than ever to show up and support those local small businesses.

The best way to support small businesses is to shop locally whether it’s in person or online through their business website. Amazon, Target and Walmart carry just about everything, but by shopping small you can really help your community by stimulating the local economy. You might even find better quality when you shop local! 

If you have friends or family with upcoming birthdays or you’re scrambling to finish last minute holiday shopping, consider buying gift cards for the people on your list. It’s a wonderful way to support small businesses and get them more recognition.

Order take out instead of delivery. Delivery services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash charge the restaurants who have partnered with them high fees which make it harder for the independent restaurants to stay in business. According to the New York Times: “For the typical restaurant, fixed costs such as labor, food and rent eat up around 90 percent of the money coming in. That leaves little room for the base fees that the large delivery services charge small restaurants, which generally are 20 percent to 30 percent of what customers pay for each order.”

It has been a rough couple of years financially for service and hourly workers. If you’re in the financial position where you can afford to tip generously, that act alone can help a lot of struggling employees and small businesses stay afloat. 

Some businesses create and sell their own promotional products that advertise their business name or logo. An easy way to help them gain recognition is to purchase and wear or use these items that advertise for the business

Social media for small businesses is no longer optional. It’s an essential way to reach customers. Interacting with social media posts is an easy and free way to support small businesses. Liking, retweeting, commenting, tagging friends and sharing content can help expand a small businesses brand and help them reach new customers.  

Post a photo and tag the small business for a quick shoutout to your followers on your personal Instagram and Facebook pages. 

If a small business you like is hosting a virtual event, you can show your support by attending. This lets them know they have fans and you can go a step further and invite your friends to join the virtual event also. 

Leave a positive review for the small business on Facebook, Google and Yelp. Too often people only think to leave a review when they’re upset or inconvenienced by something. Try to get into the habit of leaving reviews to praise businesses that are doing a great job! This can help them gain more business too. 

If a small business asks you to sign up for their newsletters or email list, do it! This will keep you informed and it will help them grow their fanbase. 

Our communities will not be the same without small businesses. Do what you can to help them during these times of difficulty and remember every purchase you make and every way you support them helps the owner provide wages for their employees, keeps their shop rent paid, keeps the lights on and helps put food on the table for the owner’s and worker’s families. 

When you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream.