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More than ever, local businesses are in great need of our support. Brittany Brown, a writer for Visit Bucks County, seeks out opportunities to promote local businesses regularly. In this guest post, she’ll give you her best tips for supporting local businesses, both in monetary and non-financial ways.
New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate new beginnings. It is a time to reflect on the previous year and open the door to a world of new opportunities. I, along with so many others, entered the year 2020 with high hopes of it being the greatest year of my life. Bring back the Roaring ’20s!
The year 2019 had been a difficult one, as I went through some major life changes and a heartbreaking loss; I was eager to start the year off with a clean slate. As we watched the NYC Ball Drop with our families and friends, none of us could have foreseen what the year 2020 actually had in store for us.
While I sit here on a furlough from my normal career and my normal life, I find myself yearning to use this time of isolation to boost my efforts in supporting local businesses in my community.
I came across this calling after volunteering as a social media ambassador for The Cornerstone Clubs and the Pine2Pink foundation. Through this, I was introduced to business owners from all over the county, and was touched by their passions and drive.
In October 2019, I started an Instagram account to post photos that would help promote local businesses during my travels. I decided on the name @Britt_Around_Town because that’s where you can find me: walking around one of the many towns in Bucks County, discovering what this beautiful community has to offer.
A New Era for Local Businesses
Self-isolation has heightened my awareness about how much of an impact social media marketing has on the world around us. Right now, it is most businesses only form of communication with their customers. I began dedicating my days to participating in webinars, expanding my knowledge on the topic in order to help those in our community.
The idea of supporting local businesses is so important. When we withdraw the purchase of goods and services from large, corporate companies and switch over to buying from small businesses, we are keeping our money local. These business owners are our friends and neighbors who are supporting families of their own.
1. Benefits of Purchasing a Product / Service From Local Businesses
- Support someone’s dream
- Help a parent put food on the table for their children
- Help pay for a child’s participation in sports and activities
- Create local job opportunities
- Increase local economy
- Invest in entrepreneurship
- Create a sense of community
It’s only been a little over a month into self-isolation, and I have already seen numerous local businesses closing their doors for good. This knowledge breaks my heart, knowing that someone’s dream, and all the hard work they put into making that dream a reality, will not be surviving.
I am determined to do everything I can to keep circulating exposure to local businesses during this crisis. I have spent many hours scrolling through Instagram, re-sharing posts that outline how businesses are handling their sales and how we can support them.
2. Call Local Businesses to Offer Ideas of Expertise
- Increase their digital footprint
- Encourage sales through their social media outlets
These are ways I’ve communicated with businesses and if I can help even one business through this, it will be worth every single second I put into it. There are ways you can help too.
3. Monetary Ways to Support Local Businesses
- Purchase a Gift Card
- Order Take Out
Purchase a Gift Card
If you frequent a local store or restaurant often, providing a business with a gift card purchase now is the greatest way to monetarily help them during this time. It also guarantees you will eventually be stopping by when businesses reopen.
Some places have moved their business to the internet to make online purchases available. Many are even offering special promotions or free shipping!
Take Out is Still An Option
Simply call / order online and place an order for pickup or delivery.
A coalition of restaurants put together a movement to hype up and encourage people to order take out and share photos of their food online. The Great American Takeout began on Tuesday March 24th and has reoccurred every following Tuesday.
When using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, you are entered to win money from the payment processing provider Shift4Payments to be used at any restaurant. Shift4Payments will also be donating money to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund for every post that uses that hashtag.
4. Ways to Support Local Businesses Without Spending Any Money at All
- Follow them on social media
- Like and share their posts
- Leave a positive comment or review
- Post a photo of an item you purchased from them and tag them
- Tag a friend who would like them
As mentioned previously, the power of social media goes a long way in this day in age. Just by completing any of the above-mentioned activities for a business online, you are helping to market them and spread the word!
5. Ways Businesses Have Always Been There to Support Us and Our Endeavors
- Help cater and fundraise for schools and sporting events
- Donate money to charities when asked
- Even begun to donate goods to those on the front line of this virus
Now it is our turn to support them during their time of need.
Bottom line: small businesses need our help and we still have the opportunity to repay them. Please spare a few moments to think about what you can do to help. By doing so, we ensure our favorite businesses can welcome us with open arms once again.