How to Help Small Businesses During the COVID Pandemic (and Beyond)

Published October 28, 2020 by Jc Drobac

The numbers of small-business closures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early March is staggering. Each month sees more businesses permanently close their doors. Even the business that have managed to keep their doors open are hurting, many uncertain how long they can remain open.

Read on to learn helpful ways you can help keep small businesses alive. Help them get through this "new normal" and build back stronger than before.

1. Shop small grocery stores and co-ops

Shop at smaller, local grocery stores and co-ops instead of only at big chains. Support local farmers by buying CSAs (community supported agriculture) kits, which are often available through your favorite co-ops).

2. Stay involved via email

Sign up for various small businesses' newsletters to keep apprised of business updates, changing hours, sales and more.

3.  Buy gift certificates

Buy gift certificates from small business for friends and family, and encourage them to buy gift certificates, too!

4. Get your favorite takeout

Pick up takeout from restaurants, or use a food-delivery service (Grubhub, Uber Eats, Bite Squad, Doordash, Seamless, etc.) to get them to your door.

5. Support small online, too

Buy online from various stores' websites, and use the curbside pick-up feature if you prefer avoiding entering businesses.

6. Give a social media shout-out

Post social media shout-outs of your favorite small businesses on your favorite social media platforms. Include which services/products/foods/items are your favorites. Leave a positive review on platforms like Yelp and Google. This increases business visibility, and adding your personal experience creates an even stronger testimonial that can increase revenue for those small businesses. You'd be surprised how powerful a social media shout-out can be!

7. Opt for small retailers first

Shop local pharmacies, hardware stores, grocery stores, etc., before opting for big-name retailers. This helps put money back into the local community first.

8. Show appreciation with a tip

Tip a little extra when you can. Restaurant servers—including bartenders—are really struggling, so padding their gratuity a bit will be greatly appreciated.

9. Be patient

Understand that service may be slower, a business's customer service might be subpar, even the product or service the business provides might not be as expected these days. The proprietor or employees are likely navigating some pretty intense stress at this time, and are challenged with making due with a fraction of their usual income or revenue though they might be working twice as hard as before.

On behalf of small-business owners everywhere, we appreciate your support—thank you! 😊