This past year has been a tough one for small businesses. Since lockdowns first started in March, businesses have been doing everything they can to navigate all the unknowns that have come with COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, it’s the small, family-run businesses that have really taken a hit. Luckily, it’s the holidays! And with them comes the opportunity to make sure our favorite small, local businesses stay up and running into 2021! So let’s chat tips and tricks to staying kind by supporting small this holiday season!
- Start shopping now! Not only will this help you by eliminating the stress of last-minute shopping, but it will also give your favorite stores the financial cushioning they’re needing. Closures have led to substantial profit losses for many small businesses. Unfortunately, these losses can lead to debt and financial insecurity. Choosing a few local shops to support early this holiday season could help bring them out of the red and ensure that they can afford necessities. Even if your small business faves are online, making your purchases now will help them to avoid last-minute backups, meaning that packages will be shipped out on time and customers will stay happy!
- Be patient! Remember that this ‘new normal’ is something that small businesses are trying to navigate too! The challenges associated with COVID-19 are many, and they go beyond the surface that we see as consumers. Of course, businesses are doing all they can to ensure health and safety for employees and customers by following CDC regulations, but keep in mind they are also dealing with the backend backup as a result of COVID-19. Supplies have been short, shipments have been slow, employees have been sparse, and money has been tight… And that’s just the beginning! So if your order is taking longer than usual to be delivered, or your favorite item is out of stock, practice kindness, and be patient. Remember that we’re in this together, and we’re all just doing the best we can.
- Use your voice! If your budget is tight this year, consider supporting small by being an advocate. These days, we all have platforms to share ideas and opinions. Use yours to spread the word about your favorite small businesses. Let your friends and family know who they are and why you love them. Remind them that this holiday season might be what makes or breaks countless local shops and that their support could make all the difference!
- Switch it up! Typically, we make a list of the people we plan to buy for and what they would like as gifts. Then, we go where we can find them and make our purchases. But what if this year, we focus on the small businesses we want to support instead? Try this: Make a list of your top shops, online or in town. Then, based on what each offers, decide who you’ll buy for and where. This way, you’ll make sure that your money goes where it is needed the most!
- Don’t forget about food! Last on our list is all the delicious restaurants that have been there for us day in and day out through the years. On good days and bad days, we can always count on them to serve up our favorites. Imagine life without that killer local pizza joint or your favorite little cafe. We don’t know about you, but we sure don’t want to! Usually, we don’t think much about food when holiday shopping. But restaurants need support too! Keep them in mind when you’re out and about, and grab some gift cards as stocking stuffers!
So, cheers to making holiday shopping fun and kind! And remember, it’s not just the people in our lives that need our appreciation and support… it’s the businesses too! On that note, happy holidays everyone!