People don’t often think about the local economy when it comes to their community. But keeping that economy healthy ensures the long-term health of the county. The trouble is that many factors are working against the small local businesses that are the economy’s real heart. The recent pandemic was an even more devastating blow. Small local businesses need a lot of help, and even if you think you can’t do much to help, there is a lot that a community could do to help local shops and small businesses.
Choose Local Over Chains
The simplest way to support local businesses is to choose them over the various chain stores in the area. National chain stores don’t provide as much to the local community. Their earnings go to someone outside the area. Additionally, they often pay low wages, which doesn’t help the local economy much. A good example of choosing local is to shop at the local farmer’s market rather than the local grocery. The produce is fresher, and you directly give money to the local farmers.
Dine Out At Least Once A Week – Even With Takeout Or Delivery
It’s always nice to eat something new. If your budget allows for it, consider checking out a local restaurant, cafe, or food service. The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, and local eateries have been hit the hardest. Chain restaurants usually have support from their main company, while local places depend on regular patrons. Nowadays, you don’t necessarily need to go to a restaurant. Just call for delivery or pickup. The great thing about this is that you aren’t the one going out. It’s the food coming to you, which is relaxing.
Leave Positive Reviews
Another thing you can do is to boost local stores online with positive reviews. A lot of local businesses have either a Facebook page or a simple website. Depending on their setup, you might consider leaving reviews on their social media pages. These are more visible and can allow others to see your opinion. Great reviews are very influential. A good reputation takes years to build, especially in small communities. Your review means that you are giving your public support to the business, which is very meaningful to locals. For example, if you say a store is the best jewelry store you ever bought jewelry from, then people are going to listen. Besides that, your positive opinion can encourage the business owner to keep up the good work.
Consider Buying Gift Cards
There are some stores that you can’t directly buy something regularly. This doesn’t mean that you can’t support them. If the store offers gift checks or gift cards, you’ve got a potential way to help. Buy some of them so that they can be used later. You might even use them as a gift to people around the area so that they can drop by to buy some things.
Refer Friends And Family
Similar to leaving positive reviews, recommending a local store to friends and family can be a good move. While a referral has less reach, an online review would have. Using your network can be more effective. The people you refer a business to depend on your personal experience with the services or products. If you can convince someone that your referral is legitimate, you can expect them to refer to the local store to other people. Depending on the spread, you might have given your local store a great way to expand.
Sign Up For Classes
Not all local businesses sell something. Some of them offer services or training. It is a good idea to sign up for classes for various skills. For example, learning yoga can be a great skill so that you can better relax. If you have children, you might consider signing up for music or martial arts instruction. These will help keep them busy. If you think that you don’t have the time for classes, you can use streaming technology so you can maximize your classes. With everyone stuck at home, online classes are now the perfect choice of what to do.
Boosting local businesses has several knock-on effects. For one, local businesses employ locals at a good wage. Well-paid employees have more spending power and, more importantly, spend money locally. This ensures that the money circulates in the local economy. Additionally, their tax revenue goes into the local government’s funds. This can pay for better community services. People should be pushing for local business support to ensure local prosperity.