While we’re always proud to stand with small businesses and see them rise to the challenges of the marketplace, we know this is a great time of year to encourage people to support small businesses. Because when we support small businesses, it makes a big impact!
From food and drinks, gifts and party favors, decorations and necessary home services, shopping locally helps:
- Strengthen your local economy
- Create more jobs in your neighborhood
- Support small businesses and entrepreneurs in your area
The holiday and giving season is a great time to think about how you’re supporting your local small businesses and community. We encourage you to use our list below to show your support throughout the holiday season and beyond!
10 things you can do to support small businesses today
1. Buy gift cards
Gift cards are a great way to support a small business by getting yourself, or someone else, something in the future. This is a great idea for our local boutiques and restaurants. Plus, many small businesses are now offering the option to purchase gift cards online, saving you the trip to the store!
Gift cards also make great gifts, of course. You can give them to friends as a way to introduce them to your favorite small businesses, furthering your impact.
2. Keep it local — online or in-person
Many of your favorite local small businesses now offer online shopping! Consider shopping small for the majority of your holiday shopping, or getting a headstart on any other upcoming holidays, birthdays, or “just because” purchases.
When shopping small, you’ll still be providing for your family and friends, but will help the owners of these businesses put food on their own tables as well. Plus - every small business owner does a little dance every time you make a purchase! You can't say the same for big box stores...
3. Order takeout or delivery
Restaurants were some of the hardest-hit businesses in the last couple of years. Luckily, many offer online ordering and takeout options, making your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans even easier!
4. Tip a little more than you usually would
If you are in a place to do so, tipping a little more generously can go far for service workers. Even when your go-to spot is offering a special, take that money saved and invest it back into your tip! The delivery workers or kitchen staff will appreciate the help and you’ll be doing your part to make sure that you can continue enjoying your favorite restaurants and small businesses.
5. Leave a positive review online
This one is completely free, takes only a couple of minutes, and can be done from the comfort of your own home! And as an added bonus, it’s relevant and impactful no matter what time of year it is or what’s going on in the marketplace as a whole.
Small businesses rely heavily on reviews. Think about it — when you’re looking for a new place to try in your community and you see they only have two stars on Google, you’re probably less likely to stop there than one with five stars.
And since the holiday season is a time where folks are looking for new products, places, and services to try out or buy for loved ones, now is the perfect time to hop on Yelp, Google, or Facebook to share a kind note about your experience with a local business. Be sure to include photos of the delicious food you ate or the beautiful gift to add even more value to your review.
If you’re a business owner yourself, now is also a great time to make sure you’ve claimed your business on review sites and that you are taking the time to respond to reviews with a kind note.
6. Donate to or voluntter for a local nonprofit
Nonprofits certainly aren’t immune to the impact of the last several years, or to the importance of the holiday season on shoppers and donors.
Demand for the services provided by nonprofit organizations is a year-round concern, so while volunteering and participating in giving-centric days like Giving Tuesday can be a huge boon for your local nonprofit, there are additional ways to support these local organizations that can reach far beyond the holiday season.
For example, you can do double the good by buying a gift card from a local business and donating it to a nonprofit that can use it. You can also reach out to local nonprofits and ask if they have a wishlist or necessity list!
Also ask what their current volunteer needs are - AND you can volunteer as a group to really spread the cheer and support!
7. Share, share, and share some more
Everyone loves a good recommendation. And, sometimes, advocating for your favorite small business is as easy as clicking ‘share’ on their latest social media post.
Now is the perfect time to scream your favorite small business names from the proverbial rooftop. If you share one of their posts to your Facebook feed and a couple of your friends make a purchase, you’ve directly helped this business by merely sharing your love for them! So share the holiday love by talking about your favorite businesses online.
8. Sign up for their email list (or other method of outreach)
Email newsletters are one of the best ways to stay in touch with your favorite small businesses! By signing up for your favorite business’ email list, you’re telling them, “I want to hear more from you!” Remember, there is a real human being behind each of your favorite small shops, so every time they get a new signup it assures them that people support their work and are rooting for them. Plus, signing up for email lists means you’ll be the first to know about their upcoming announcements, such as product drops or new offerings.
9. Simply say thank you
There is a lot to be thankful for when it comes to small businesses. Just say “thank you” to let local businesses know you appreciate the time and effort they put into making your life (and our community) better!
It’s more important than ever that we continue to support small businesses!
No matter how you are spending the holidays, we hope you can find the time to shop at small businesses this year! Not only can you find the perfect gifts to make your loved ones feel extra special, but you'll also feel great about providing a boost to the local businesses in your community.