How to support small businesses with your voice & money.

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Photo by John Arehart

Small businesses and workers are struggling to stay afloat because of Covid-19 related closures. Here are a few ways you can continue to support your communities and neighbors amidst these crazy times.

Listen to the episode "Support Small Businesses" on the 'What Do I Do?' Podcast now!

Action Step #1 - Use your voice. Without spending a dime, you can give your favorite small businesses a boost by spreading the good word.

  • Leave positive reviews on sites like Yelp and Google. Great reviews help increases buoyancy when others search online.

  • Like, Share, and Comment on social media. Social media is tricky but the more you actually engage with a post, the better it will perform and the larger the audience will become.

Action Step #2 - Change your habits. Though many of us often default to big businesses like Amazon or Walmart, objectively these places don’t need our money to stay open during these unprecedented times.

  • Before spending, ask yourself "can I get this somewhere that my dollar has a more direct impact on the business and owner?". The answer is probably yes.

  • If yes, make a plan to patronize that small business in person or online.

  • Be patient! We're used to immediate satisfaction but if you don't need that item right away, and the small business is currently closed, keep it on your wish list for when they re-open.

Example: Reading books is a great way to de-stress and avoid more screens while social distancing. Instead of ordering online from Amazon, can you get that book locally instead? Probably! Even amidst the Covid lockdown, tons of indies are open and offering curbside pickup or have started shipping. Use to find a store near you.

Listen to the episode "Support Small Businesses" on the 'What Do I Do?' Podcast now!

AS #3 - Use your Money. Facts are facts, money makes the world go 'round and we want the dollars to keep moving now. If you're able to, continue to patronize businesses that are open while practicing social distancing. Many businesses are delivering or offering curbside service to help folx avoid crowds. Others are not open now at all but they still need your support (read: Money).

  • Purchase Gift Cards. The money they receive now will help the business stay open until regular revenue is possible again. When/if you go to cash in on that gift card, spend more than the card's value - this gives the business income now and more income later; they need both!

  • Stock up in advance for things that will last - instead of buying one book at a time, can you buy 10 and stock up for a couple months?

  • Don't forget workers who survive on tips! Restaurant servers, bartenders, hair stylists, people who do nails, tattoo artists. If you can swing it, send them that money you’d spend on venmo or cash app. They'll appreciate it!

And if you’re one of those service industry pros, get innovative! Maybe you can teach cocktail techniques or coach us through at-home haircuts via video chat. Just make sure you set up your social channels with contact info so folks can tip you.

Listen to the episode "Support Small Businesses" on the 'What Do I Do?' Podcast now!

And there you go - now you have a few tools in your tool belt to help folx who’s businesses are being impacted by Covid.

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