How (and Why) to Support Small Businesses

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How (and Why) to Support Small Businesses

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Small businesses need support from their communities now more than ever. According to The Washington Post over 100,000 small businesses were forced to close during the pandemic, and those that survived were just nearly making it by. Even with restrictions lifted, small businesses are still hurting, trying to recover what they’ve lost over the past two years.

Before the pandemic, small businesses accounted for 44% of economic activity in the United States. It sank well below 30% during the pandemic and has slowly been climbing back up, but without the support of their local community, there’s not a real chance for small businesses to thrive.

With chain restaurants and brand name enterprises buying up cheap property and popping up all over, it’s important to use your purchasing power to create balance amongst the industries. Keeping money local, which in turn means out of those big chains, positively affects your community. Small businesses have the incentive to care more about your community because they’re from there. They’re more likely to fight for what’s best for the community than the chains that come from out of town, and they’ll be putting those funds back into your community rather than taking them.

With that in mind, here are six ways you can support small businesses so that you can ensure the small business thrives in the presence of larger chains.

Buy Union Made Products

Union-made products, which are products made in the United States, support local economies. They are finely crafted goods—from union hats to union stickers and union-made apparel—that are created by local union trades workers. While union-made products may be more expensive than an imported alternative, the quality of the product will last longer than nearly any cheaper alternative. 

Buying union-made products means supporting companies whose goal is to pay their workers fair wages, and provide them with stable and healthy work environments, all while ensuring the continued production of American goods. Supporting the creation of ethical products and ethical work environments is pivotal at a time when chain industries are taking advantage of imports and dismal work environments.

Sign Up For Newsletters

Newsletters can keep you informed about the going-ons of your local small businesses. By signing up you’ll be able to hear about new businesses, sales, local small business fairs, and all the other news about your local small business scene. Look into if your community has a small business newsletter or if the businesses offer them individually. It also can act as a reminder to stay local, as the newsletter will land in your inbox every week. 

Dedicate One Weekend A Month To Local Shopping

By putting it into your schedule you can ensure you remember to keep your shopping local. Maybe you use that weekend to do errands, or you find a local bookstore that becomes your new home away from home. You can use it as an excuse to explore the small businesses within your community and beyond. Think about inviting friends out with you as well, you can help introduce these small businesses to new customers that way.

Follow Their Social Media Pages

Small businesses typically don’t have the budgets to hire agencies to run their social media pages. They have to build their following off of word of mouth and their own social media marketing prowess. One way you can help support small businesses is to follow their social media pages and interact with them.

Interaction from the community helps bolster their image online, giving them credibility and potentially intriguing your friends and followers to look into the business. Engaging with their pages is encouraged as well. If you ever post pictures of purchases made at a small business, tag the store or be sure to mention the business in some way. Leave positive reviews on their social pages, as people are constantly checking reviews online before making a purchase.

Purchase Gift Cards

Gift cards are always handy, and giving friends and family gift cards for small businesses is a great way to invest in small businesses while spreading the word about them. Purchase them from your favorite small business to give out during the holidays or special occasions. Make sure to ask about expiration dates and if there are any limitations as to what a gift card can get you in-store, as each store’s policy varies.