Small Business Saturday has come and gone, yet your local entrepreneurs still need you. Local shop owners wait patiently all year for just this one day. This one day to celebrate their accomplishments, to share their enthusiasm for local shopping, and to relish in the support of their community. Then, Sunday is business as usual. When the excitement dies down and the crowds fade, we go back to normal. But what is normal anymore?
In light of recent events, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on a subject that has touched all of us in some way or another. We’ve been divided into categories as human beings. Words like “essential” and “non-essential” are floating around. Truth is, we are all essential workers. Everyone’s jobs are essential. Our lives are essential. Our sanity is essential. Our economy is essential. As are our families, loved ones, friends, children, neighbors, and communities. I know it’s tempting to hop online and grab the cheapest thing especially when it’s offered with “free” shipping. It’s tempting to purchase a discounted item that’s mass produced rather than spending the extra money to buy it from a community member who’s taken the time to make it by hand. I get it. I’ve been guilty of it too. But now more than ever, I would encourage you to do some research about your community. Discover what’s nearby and get familiar with what they offer. Most small businesses and local stores have entirely revamped their business model to be able to include online shopping, curbside pickup, and contactless payments.
I’ve watched many businesses open and close during 2020. In fact, almost 100,000 have permanently shut their doors. I watched many of them build up such confidence and hope, only to have it shattered a few short months later from a lack of sales due to Covid-related restrictions. Luckily, we as a generation, have been blessed with the means & technology to simply “make things work”. We are a generation of do-it-yourselfers, problem solvers, and hard workers. We may bend, but we certainly don’t break under pressure. Small businesses everywhere are making changes in order to keep things up and running. Many of us are learning what our new normal might look like and making the changes necessary to adapt. For the businesses who have been fortunate enough to stay open, we have gotten creative to say the least. Many businesses have been able to safely and effectively make the transition into our “new normal.” We might be learning and changing… but we are OPEN. And for that, I’m grateful.
Here are just a few ways that you can support locally owned businesses without leaving your home or even spending money:
- Follow businesses on social media. Even if its just scrolling through their Facebook page. Learn which companies offer what services. Even if you don’t ever spend money on them, at least you’ll know they exist and can help spread the word.
- Interact with people’s content online by liking, commenting, sharing, or tagging a friend!
- Educate your children and your peers. Teach them the importance of supporting one another’s dreams and how it's helpful to keep money circulating within your own community.
- Leave a review. Have you checked out a small business and were pleasantly surprised? Google, Yelp, and Facebook are all great places to leave some positive feedback!
- Offer to help or donate supplies. Have extra things around the house that you know a business could use? Ask if anybody needs anything before tossing!
- Sign up for their newsletter - you never know when you might be able to grab a coupon code or special deal!