This year, more than ever, the emphasis is on shopping local, dining local, giving local, and supporting local businesses. Obviously, the easiest response to this need to simply shop local this holiday season, but I invite you to think a little bit deeper in how you can really love on small businesses and small business owners in your community this year.
As we know, many larger companies have been pushing out Black Friday sales for some time, a bit earlier than usual, but have you made a plan or looked into what’s going to be offered yet from some of your favorite small businesses and services on Saturday, November 28–in case they haven’t announced it yet?
Maybe just purchasing products or services from your favorite small businesses/service providers doesn’t seem like enough this year? Maybe you’re in a position to bless them with more? Or maybe you don’t need their products or services right now, but you’d like to support them–here’s some creative ideas to show some love for #SmallBusinessSaturday:
- Purchase products and services (I think that’s a given)
- Purchase gift cards/gift certificates (you might not be in the market for a specific product or service right now–but might be in the near future, or know someone you can gift it to)
- If you have a specific product or service that you provide, and you feel moved to gift those products/services, ask if they would be supportive to that business/owner
- Share advertisements–both on social media and in print
- Refer friends
- Write reviews for the business on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, and other places the business is listed
- Gift owners and/or employees with supportive care. This year has been extremely difficult for many small businesses with the workload, lessened hours, closures, and in many cases, decreased income–grocery store gift cards, restaurant gift cards, even gift certificates for a few hours of house cleaning can take a huge burden off some of these entrepreneurs.
- Tip graciously.
- Partner with a business for a giveaway or contest to help increase their exposure and visibility
Remember, not every small business has had the same experience this year. It’s easy to make assumptions that “everyone is going to be okay” because of various governmental and local pandemic assistance programs and public and private grants that have been made available, but every single one of the loan and grant programs have eligibility requirements, and there’s always people that fall through the cracks because of business size, business age, industry, etc. There are businesses in your communities that despite every effort have received no relief assistance and have continued to work hard daily to keep their doors open. What can you do today to support those working hard around you?