In the midst of Social Distancing, it can feel increasingly more difficult to support the small businesses you love. Now, more than ever, small businesses are in need of assistance. We’ve created a list (with the help of so many incredible resources) of ways you can help - with money and also just with your time and attention!
1. Delivery / To Go Food - For any small businesses and restaurants still open and able to serve food, this one is an easy one! You don’t need to cook at home, and you know that your money is well spent and means so much to that establishment. You are not only supporting a local venture, but you are also helping them to keep a staff on hand, which is growing increasingly difficult these days. If you’re wondering who you can order from, please check out GrubHub, Dinner Delivered, Waitr, Uber Eats, or check out your favorite local restaurant’s website or Facebook!
2. Stock up on food from local resources and small businesses in your area - If you are in need of produce, meat, cheese, or other groceries, we strongly urge you to consider shopping at your local shops and retailers. In Chattanooga, you can purchase a variety of provisions from the following retailers: Main Street Meats, Locals Only, Events With Taste, Bleu Fox Cheese Shop, Imbibe Wine and Spirits, Riverside Wine and Spirits, and MANY MORE!
3. Purchase Gift Cards - This one is pretty self explanatory. If you can buy gift cards, please do! Once everything has settled a bit, you know you’ll be headed out and frequenting your favorite establishments again. This money will help cover their overhead and will be seen as a sign of good faith!
4. Purchase Dining Bonds - Some national restaurants are offering Dining Bonds. “A Dining Bond works like a savings bond, where you can purchase a "bond" at a value rate to be redeemed for face value at a future date.” For more information, or to see which restaurants and cities are participating, please check out www.supportrestaurants.org.
5. Schedule a Service For Later - This is similar to the idea of a gift card - but more of a promise to support once things have improved. Think of your favorite restaurants that require reservations. Think of the massage parlor, nail salon, or barber shop you frequent. Put your name on their books and let them know you’ll be back once things settle back to normalcy.
6. Support on Social Media - While this might not seem too obvious, the perk of this one is that it does not financially impact you at all - but the impact it has on a small business is HUGE! When small businesses post on any form of social media, ENGAGE with them! Share their post, like it, FOLLOW all of your favorite local spots! If something resonates with you and you know it would resonate with others, repost or tag a friend. Comment and engage with them. So many small businesses are needing to pivot and change direction with their businesses - as a customer, let them know what they could provide you. You never know, it might help them a great deal.
7. Refer Friends - When you are buying things from local or small retailers, TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Get them on board too!
8. Give Positive Reviews for Businesses You Support - Remember all those times you spent thinking “Who has time to write all these reviews on Yelp! Anyway?” Well… Now… Maybe you do! Reviews on Yelp!, TripAdvisor, Google, and so on - truly mean a lot to small businesses. If you picked one business a day to write a positive review for, you would have truly brightened 7 businesses’ days. I guarantee it. If you want to take it a step farther, share a post from them as well!
9. Shop Online at Local Retailers - Many physical shops and locations have shifted to an online storefront. If you are able to, support them this way!
10. Support Your Local Businesses with their New Ventures - As things continue, you will inevitably see businesses change their models. Some are teaching online classes, some are switching to food delivery, and so on. Please continue to show your support with their new ventures. It means so much to small businesses to have earned your trust. We guarantee it would mean the world if they knew they could count on their customers now.
Check out the campaign by Co.Starters (SmallBizStrong) here for graphics and more ways to assist!
What are some of the ways you are actively supporting small businesses now? We'd love to hear!