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How to Support Local Businesses in the Wake of COVID-19

COVID-19 has made it difficult for businesses to survive since more people staying home has caused them to lose significant amounts of money. Even though some areas have allowed businesses to re-open, the pandemic has still drastically reduced the number of customers they receive. With this in mind, consider these ideas for how to support local businesses despite the barriers caused by COVID-19.

Follow Their Social Media Pages

Many local businesses have begun to branch out and create their own social media pages. Social media allows them to engage with their community and expand their online market, so you should see if they have any social media pages to follow and receive updates from while vocalizing support.

By following their social media pages, you can help them to grow their online presence. This will enable their pages to appear sooner in search results, allowing them to gain more followers and traction. In short, following your favorite local businesses on social media is an effortless step that could go a long way towards their survival and success.

Share and Like Their Posts

You can also help grow their online presence by actively engaging with them online. When you like their posts or comment on their pages, you signal to the social media algorithms that people care about those businesses. This then helps them appear in search results and also in the feeds of your own followers, which further increases their traction and visibility.

You can always help them further by sharing their posts and pictures on your own social media pages. This will allow your friends and followers to view what you shared and cultivate their interest in the business. They could then look at the business’ social media page themselves, follow it, or even make or plan on making a purchase. This could have a lasting effect even after COVID-19 as businesses begin to transition from survival mode to recovery.

Make Online Purchases

Some local businesses have established websites that can enable you to make online purchases, orders, and reservations. Even if you know that a local business did not have a website previously, you should check again. Many businesses have expanded their online presence to adapt to COVID-19 conditions and still make money despite being unable to open their store physically to the public. 

If your local businesses have created a website, then visit it and see what they have available. If they allow you to make purchases online, then you should do so or take advantage of any other features that they have to offer. This way, their websites will get more traffic, which can help them gain more customers and sales.

Talk with Your Friends

Keep in mind that some of your friends may not have social media accounts, so you should talk to them in-person about your favorite local businesses. Spreading information through word-of-mouth can have a larger impact than you may expect. 

When people talk with friends and those they trust, they value their opinions and views above others. As a result, when you recommend a local business to friends and family, they will be more likely to listen to you and check it out when they would not have otherwise done so or possessed the knowledge to do so.

Join Referral Systems

Some businesses will create referral systems as a way for their customers to benefit from sharing their businesses. This means that you can receive rewards or discounts when your friends make a purchase and mention your name. This can be a great way for you to save some money while also helping the business to expand its customer base.

Additionally, many businesses will set up referral systems that benefit the new customer and the person that gave them the referral. This can further encourage your friends to take advantage of the offer and become regular customers. If you want to support local businesses, looking into whether they have a referral system could be rewarding for all parties involved. 

Look into Volunteer Work

Local businesses will usually allow people to do volunteer work for them. Oftentimes, they like to have the extra help so their business can continue to grow while expanding community engagement. If this is something that would interest you, you can ask your favorite local businesses if there is any volunteer work that you can provide.

Volunteer work can entail a variety of services to assist businesses. For example, you could literally work at the business, help them with moving or lifting objects, or even provide online help. Make sure to mention your skillset to see if they have a way for you to make a valued contribution to their business.

Ask About Donations

Even if you can’t provide volunteer work or the business doesn’t accept any, you can still look into offering donations. Local businesses work better for donations since you can often offer them more than money itself. For example, a local business may benefit from chairs or other furniture that you could donate to them.

Remember that donations mean more than simply giving money to a business. You can always find different ways to donate to their cause to further support their business. If you don’t know how to do so, then you can always visit their stores and ask them directly what donations they will accept from locals.

Conclusion

COVID-19 has caused financial problems for people throughout the world, but you can still show support for local businesses that you care about. By considering these ideas, you should be able to identify at least one thing that you can do to help your favorite local businesses stay afloat during these difficult times.

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