How To Support Small Businesses While Practicing Social Distancing

The coronavirus outbreak has negatively impacted businesses all over the world. With many small businesses having to scale back operations, layoff staff, and close their doors, now is an especially important time to ramp up your support for small businesses in your community. Here are a few ways that you can support small businesses during these tough times, all while continuing with social distancing as recommended. 

Buy gift cards

Although you likely can’t visit your favourite local businesses right now, show some faith that you’re going to later by purchasing a gift certificate for their offerings online. Paying for products and services in advance puts money into the business now, and gives you something to look forward to when this is all over. 

Lend your time

If you can’t fork over cash for a gift card right now, consider reaching out to small businesses that are special to you and offer to donate professional services. Whether you're great at graphic design or digital marketing, now is a great time for you to build your resume while helping businesses get through trying times. 

Order takeout/delivery

Just because you can’t go to your favourite local restaurant anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy their food. Many restaurants are now offering delivery services or creating takeout windows at their locations. Check in with your faves to see if you can still buy from them even if you can’t dine in. 

Shop local 

The convenience of Amazon Prime makes it the go-to for many who are shopping for supplies during self-isolation. Consider searching for local businesses that offer the products that you need and ordering from them instead. Many small businesses are closing their retail doors but have fully functioning e-commerce sites, so be conscious about where your dollars are being spent and support the community first whenever possible. 

Sing their praises on social

Spreading the word about small businesses that you appreciate is a free way to provide them with some extra eyes (and potential customers) at a time when they need it most. Encourage your online community to do some of the things listed above for your favourite businesses. A little love goes a long way! 

Leave a glowing review

After you shout them out on social media, go ahead and leave a heartfelt Yelp or Google review for your favourite small biz. Small businesses work hard to collect rave online reviews, and now is a great time to tell others why they should also show support. 

Join their online classes 

Many fitness studios and personal trainers, and even restaurants are offering online classes and workshops right now. Join an online workout or participate in a virtual cooking class to show support for those that are adapting their offerings for our new reality. 

Postpone (don’t cancel) booked events

With public gatherings being off the table for the time being, canceling events that you’ve had scheduled tends to be the knee-jerk reaction. Instead of canceling and asking for a refund, consider simply postponing the event until a later date so that the venue that you chose can still count on that booking as a source of revenue. 

Nominate them for funding

Keep an eye out for opportunities to nominate small businesses that you love for funding and financial support. These opportunities may be few and far between, but some larger companies have been making an effort to give back to small businesses in need. For example, Bumble Bizz is currently offering monetary support of up to $5000 for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Business owners can apply on their own through the app, or you can nominate a business that you love. 

What are some ways that you’ve been supporting small businesses? 

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