6 Ways to Support Your Community TodayAmber Brandt
Over the past year and a half, local businesses and nonprofits have had to make sacrifices and changes to survive. And while supporting local has always been essential for our economy, now is a crucial time to help them get back on their feet. When businesses thrive, more jobs and opportunities exist in our neighborhoods.
No matter where you live, there are practical ways you can support your community – with your dollar and with your social influence (which costs nothing!). Here is a short list of ideas you can put into motion to help your local community thrive:
1. Write a review on a local business or tag them in a post.
We spend a large portion of our day online. Why not turn your scroll into support? Take a few minutes to create a social media post and tag a local business you care about. Share about a personal experience you had in their store, an exceptional meal they prepared, or product you discovered, and be sure to include a photo if you can! People value and trust the first-person experiences of their peers. Use your social capital to cast an even wider net by writing a Yelp or Facebook review.
2. Sign up for newsletters.
A great, cost-free way to support a local business you love is to visit their website and subscribe to their newsletter. You’ll send them a boost and ensure you never miss an important announcement or event.
3. Buy local.
It’s great to buy produce, products, and materials from local farmers, makers, and artisans whenever possible. Not only does it boost your local economy, but “shopping small” reduces the carbon footprint, too. Even if you’re just looking to stock up on pantry staples, think about supporting the mom-and-pop down the street before a big box store or Amazon.
4. Shop for the holidays now.
It seems crazy to think about buying Christmas gifts in July but infusing money into your local economy now will help carry local shops through while things continue to normalize. Plus, it will simplify your shopping list for the fall and give you a more relaxed holiday season. Win-win!
Did you lose out on a class that was cancelled for you or your child during a shutdown? Instead of requesting a refund, consider donating the lost funds to the organization. You can also donate your time or skills. Do you work in an industry that allows you to donate services a local business could benefit from? Web developers, graphic designers, and social media experts can all create great impact by donating a few hours to help a local business with a weak or nonexistent online presence. Many people were scrambling to get a website up and running when in-person shopping ground to a halt, and many others are still struggling. A few free hours of your time could change the whole game for a favorite business.
6. Be caring.
One of the best ways to show your support of small business owners is to simply look them in the eyes and show your appreciation. Tell them you’re rooting for them. Ask them how they’re doing and really mean it. Refer their business to your friends and family. Commit to intentionally spending money each week with small businesses you appreciate. It will mean the world to them.