Missed Small Business Saturday? How to support local businesses
For those of you who don’t know, Small Business Saturday is another American holiday that comes after Thanksgiving & Black Friday. Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after these two days, in an irony which says, “you are a product of capitalism so you got tempted with all the Black Friday deals, but now’s the time to support a small business.” And that’s that.
It’s often repeated in social circles that one must shop local & patronize small businesses who work a lot harder on their product batches than evil corporations who’ve got massive resources at their disposal & exploit the human resources they employ. Having said that, you don’t need a single day in a year to actually promote & support small businesses.
In fact, shopping locally & sustainably should be a larger goal & lifestyle. Here we enumerate a few ways in which you can support local businesses before the powers of the corporate behemoths wipe them out of existence.
Choose small businesses
The exercise is fairly simple: be less impulsive & more thoughtful in your purchases. Hit fewer “place order” buttons & ring up more indie shops. Find independent bookstores, cloth designers, etc as substitutes for e-commerce giants. The best part os ringing up a local store isn’t even a positive impact on your conscience.
It’s the chance you get to strike up a conversation, establish a rapport, and build a relationship with someone. If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s that having resources & your people in your vicinity is infinitely better than getting things delivered in what’s a false convenience.
Besides, think of the people benefitting from the purchase you make. When you buy from a local business, it feeds their family, their employees – who are, more often than not, also young kids – among others, local producers they buy raw materials from & so on.
As Bill Brunelle, the managing partner of Independent We Stand was quoted as saying, “There’s a multiplier effect. If you buy at a hardware store, that owner may hire a local accountant, while the employees may go to local restaurants and other nearby stores. The success of one business can steamroll through the economy.”
Low on cash? You can still support small business
Most local businesses rely on two things to establish their presence & steady customer base: one, word-of-mouth, and two, their social media. Most businesses will have pages on social media, on maps, on listing sites, apps, etc. If you like a restaurant, leave them a good review. Anytime you buy something from there, tag them, give them 5 stars so that they show up higher in the list.
Apart from giving them a shoutout on social media, try to engage with their posts by commenting, responding, sharing stories. The algorithms are stacked against the best of creators, so make sure you do your bit in helping them beat the algorithmic trials. And then there’s the traditional method: talk with your friends, colleagues, family about them.
Go so far as explaining to your family why they should be investing in local businesses too. Does the business have a newsletter or mailing list? Sign up for that. Very often a business’s worth is dependent on metrics like these. How many subscribers they have can help them leverage their network for partnerships, collaborations, events, etc..
Gift cards from very specific places are the perfect gift for everyone involved. You’ve supported the small business by not only monetarily buying their product but also informing another person about their existence. This person will then have to visit the ship & will potentially come in contact with multiple other people.
On top of it, you’ve just relieved yourself of the stress of actually figuring out what to gift someone. It’s truly a win-win.