With the growing presence of online retailers and third-party food delivery apps, the way people shop and dine has fundamentally changed. However, it’s still important to shop local and be aware of how you can support small businesses.
Why Support Small Businesses in Your Area?
As a result of global purchasing habits moving online, local businesses have suffered tremendously, and many are now struggling to stay open. According to the 2021 Small Business Credit Survey, almost 80% of all businesses have outstanding debt, and 88% of businesses have still not seen a return to business similar to their pre-pandemic levels. When you shop with small businesses, you provide several benefits to your community by:
- Strengthening the local economy: Shopping at large chain stores and restaurants scatters the money you’ve spent all around the country, but supporting local businesses keeps your money in your town and helps develop the community you live in.
- Creating more jobs in the area: By choosing to help local businesses, you can support the creation of more jobs in your area and keep your money in the local economy.
- Encouraging entrepreneurship: Supporting local businesses encourages more members of your community to pursue entrepreneurship and create more resources and opportunities in their hometown.
When you invest in your community, you can help build a vibrant culture in your town while helping local artists, bakers, chefs, and other entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors.
5 Ways to Support Your Community’s Local Businesses
Whether you’re looking for a birthday present for a friend, takeout for dinner, or just want to introduce more people to your favorite locales, these five ideas can help you support your area’s small businesses.
1. Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are the perfect way to surprise friends and family on special occasions. And when you give a gift card from a local business, the recipient will be more inclined to visit small stores they might otherwise skip or be unaware of. Gift cards are also helpful for getting the word out to your friends and family about local restaurants.
2. Order Online for Pickup or for Delivery
If you don’t have time to shop for items at a store, you could try ordering online for in-store or curbside pickup. As more shops and restaurants expand their purchasing and pickup options, it’s often easy to order online and pick your items up within a certain timeframe. You can shop when it’s convenient for you while still supporting local businesses.
Additionally, when dinnertime is fast approaching and you’re not sure what to cook, you can check if your favorite local restaurant offers online ordering and delivery. But before you order, find out if the restaurant uses their own drivers or a third-party delivery app. Many third-party delivery apps have high fees for the businesses they partner with, and they’ll likely charge you a fee, as well.
3. Leave a Positive Review
Another way to support your favorite local businesses is by leaving them a positive online review. Even short reviews help businesses reach new potential customers and organically grow their online reputation.
In your review, you can mention anything from your favorite items or dishes to the business’s staff or location. Your review does more than give local businesses credibility – it shows how loyal their clientele is, too.
4. Share on Social Media
Social media allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of local businesses to learn about new services, events, products, and specials. Simply following, sharing, and interacting with content from local businesses helps grow their reputation and access a wider audience. Platforms like Facebook even allow you to invite your friends to “like” a local business’s page so that you can get your friends directly interacting with their content.
Don’t forget to post a quick picture of your food, a new outfit, or another item, like a piece of home décor, that you’ve purchased. In the age of influencer marketing, sharing pictures of small business purchases is a great way to help promote your local favorites.
5. Subscribe to a Small Business’s Newsletter
By signing up for a small business’s newsletter, you can directly support them while getting a first look at upcoming special events, product launches, and even sales and promotions. Small business newsletters may also feature great insider deals as well as giveaways and coupons – a win-win for both you and the business.
Get Rewarded for Purchasing from Small Businesses
With our Founder’s Card, you can earn cash rewards on all purchases with no category restrictions. Earn 2%* or 1.5% cash rewards on your purchases from small businesses, investing in your community as you invest in yourself. Apply for the card today.
*You can earn 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. You can earn 2% cash rewards on purchases if you maintain a PSECU checking account and qualifying monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $500. See the Visa® Founder’s Card and Visa® Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.
The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.