Now more than ever, your small and local businesses need your love, help and support. During these unprecedented times within the economy because of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic that is quite literally fucking the world (I have no better way to describe it, really), small and local businesses we all love in our hometowns are struggling beyond belief.
Small businesses are, unfortunately, looking to cut costs now, whether it be by cutting their staff, or closing earlier in the day to save hydro costs just to save money to pay the rent, the little guys are in dire need of help and who better to help them than you; the local consumers.
The big brand name stores aren’t getting hurt as much cash flow wise. People are lining up down the side of Costco just to get INTO the store, people are panic buying toilet paper like it’s going out of style and don’t get me started on trying to even find Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer these days. I know that your local and small businesses may not carry these items, so you may not have any choice, but to shop at a big brand store, but if you just buy some things from a small business that you can find in a big store, such as coffee, baked goods, meats from a local deli etc, you will help put food on the table for a family within your community, or help pay the wages of an employee and what definitely makes a community stronger is support.
Everyone should be looking to help others now. In a time like this, kindness and support will help more than you ever thought possible. Here are a few ways that you can help support your local and small businesses around your neighbourhood.
Your Local Coffee Shop
There’s something about the perfect cup of coffee that can make your day go from drab to fab in just one sip. It’s a sin to drink bad coffee, or so I’ve heard ;), so I appreciate a well crafted cuppa and nobody puts more love and care into brewing than your local coffee shop and espresso bar. If you’re looking to support the little guys during this tough time, you can buy bags of their coffee beans, whole or ground to consume at home while practicing your social distancing, buy a gift card for a friend, family member, or yourself to use in the future, or simply stop in store and buy a coffee to go. Doing these little things make a huge difference in supporting your local coffee shop.
Support A Local Brewery
As much as I adore my European beers (what’s up Germany?:)), I also really love to support the many up and coming local breweries popping up in my neighbourhood these days. One of the main reasons why I love German beers, is that they only use 3 or 4 ingredients to make their brews and add no harsh additives, or colourings to their recipes. Local breweries are taking note and complying to the age old Germany Purity Law of 1516, or Reinheitsgebot in German, to provide their customers with the freshest and best tasting beer. Most breweries are offering no charge delivery services during these COVID-19 times, so call them up, place and order of a few different beers and have yourself an at home beer flight tasting session to find your new fave brew.
My hometown has a lot of great restaurants that rely on the local community to stay up and running. A lot of small restaurant businesses are choosing to stay open during the pandemic to offer their patrons some good eats. Although you can’t dine in at the moment, you can still show your support by ordering online, or through your favourite food delivery app, or calling ahead to place an order for takeout. Make sure to leave a generous tip, a restaurant review online, or share on your social media channels to show them your appreciation.
Local Bakeries & Delis
I love a good homemade pastry, or a nice fresh baked loaf of bread. I mean, who doesn’t? Why not visit your local bakery to stock up on some quarantine treats for you and your family to spread a bit of cheer during these times? Buy a nice loaf of crusty bread then hit up your local deli to stock up on some meats and cheeses to make the ultimate stay at home sandwich for lunch the next day. You’ll be eating well while supporting local. Win win!
Farmer’s markets may, or may not be opened this time of year and especially during the pandemic, but once it’s all over, consider shopping at them and supporting local farmers. The food is fresh, organic and much cheaper than buying in store. Plus it’s always humbling to remember that farmers feed cities…something to never forget. As someone who comes from a family of farmers, I have seen the hard work and determination, money spent to keep things running just to put food on their own tables, let alone yours. Supporting local farmers ensures that your family gets fed, so keep that in mind as well.
I’m circling back onto the subject of farmers feeding cities. Do you see a trend here? 😉 Whether you eat meat, or not, I don’t care. I’m not here to preach. I was veggie for five years, so let’s not get into it. 😛 I will however promote and support my local butchers that get animals from farmers that treat their animals well, give them space to roam, feed them organic feed, add no harmful hormones to their food, or inject them with who the hell knows what and animals that live and roam free, I hate to say it…taste better. Say no to factory farming, which houses poor animals in tiny confined spaces with no room to roam, no natural sunlight and they are absolutely living out their lives in complete disgust and sadness. Don’t buy into that shit if you can.
Before businesses shut down, every store still had loads of stock within their buildings and with no incoming traffic coming through their doors, what are they supposed to do? Throw them out and eat the costs, unfortunately. Florists are one of these businesses that have tons of floral arrangements pre-made and were sitting in fridges, or on the floor with nowhere to go. They were just left to waste away and shrivel up. To combat this sad waste of beautiful flowers, why not order a small bouquet, or send an arrangement to a family member that you can’t see during the quarantine days to spruce up a home office, or just a nice gesture to let them know that you’re thinking of them. Flowers can brighten up your home during these dismal days. Why not give it a try?
There are many other types of local businesses out there right now, such as small clothing brands, furniture, bookstores and even yoga studios that need your help. Other ways to support these struggling entrepreneurs right now can be done by doing the following:
- Rescheduling an appointment, or class rather than flat out cancelling. This way, they are guaranteed the cash flow and return business.
- Buy gift cards for future use. Gift card purchases give the company money right away and help them stay afloat.
- Shop online if they have an online store, or place an order via telephone if you can view their products online.
- Share on social media with your friends when you get the product you’ve purchased from a local small business
Have No Extra Cash To Spend?
Times right now are economically tough for everyone, especially if you’ve lost your job, or have been laid off due to the Coronavirus pandemic. If you don’t have extra cash to spend, but are still looking to support local businesses in your hometown, here are some cash free alternatives for spreading the love.
- Share their company, product and services on your social media channels.
- Write an online review for their company on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Facebook
- Re-share their posts on your social media channels if they are offering specials, deals etc
- Promote their special and services with close family and friends if they are looking for a new place to try
- Follow them on social media – A follow goes a long way to boost the confidence of a small business owner
- Comment and like their posts on social media to let them know you appreciate them and their products
- Say Thank You – It goes a long way in making someone feel special 🙂
Local businesses drive and support the local economy more that you realize. By shopping local and small, you not only help support the people that own the business, but you help your local community strive and in these uncertain times that we are all currently in, helping the small guys around your neighbourhood is necessary to make sure that after this shit is done (I’m looking at you, Coronavirus) that they are able to reopen and rehire their staff and continue to serve their patrons.
Here are most, if not all of the links to the businesses that I’ve featured in photos within this post. Please help support in any possible way that you can. 🙂
If you have any local businesses that you love and support, share them in the comments below to spread the word. xo