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How To: Support Local and Small Businesses During the Pandemic

I'm Kristin!

Sandwich obsessed, overachiever, girl mom, and Prosecco's #1 fan.  I show small business owners what, how, and when to use Instagram to give their brand a boost… right in the midst of this pandemic. 

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We’re all pretty aware that small businesses have been struggling for awhile, but unfortunately, they’re still not in the clear. Most small business owners are still barely making ends meet, fearful of what the future holds, and working over time just to stay afloat. As guidelines and regulations continue to evolve, we can hope that this situation increasingly gets better.  But in the mean time, check out these ways you can support small and local businesses!

If you do plan to shop, consider the following:

  1. First things first, who needs help?  Find a list of small businesses near you here.
  2. Then, double check your shopping list to see which items you can find at local businesses versus big box retailers or huge e-commerce platforms. 
  3. Not sure if a local business carries what you need?  Do a quick google search for the business in question.  Most have websites with details of items they carry.
  4. While you’re there, scan closely as most stores have adapted their operations to consider customer safety.  Some small businesses are offering online ordering with free shipping. Others are accommodating individuals who choose not to shop in store by offering delivery or curbside pick up.
  5. Not needing anything specific right now?  Most small businesses are selling gift cards that you can purchase now and redeem later as shopping and dining experiences evolve back to business as usual.

Just as businesses have had to adapt in this unprecedented economic crisis, your personal budget has no doubt been affected, too. Taking a break from spending right now?  That’s all good!  These ideas can support small businesses just as well, and they don’t cost a penny:

  1. Before you x-out of that website searching you did above, click on any boxes that allow you to sign up for emails or newsletters from said local business.  What’s the point?  When you do need to purchase something, emails will keep local business options top of mind.  Plus, you may see something in their emails that unexpectedly piques your interest in the future, and you’ll stay in the loop of events, business operations, and sales.
  2. Follow small businesses on social media.  Small business owners should be using social media frequently to keep customers updated on new items, sales, and changes in hours and operations. (And if you’re a small business who’s not doing that, then click here to grab a checklist I made that can help you get started!) Go one step further by using their share buttons to tell your friends about small businesses you follow… it’s today’s version of word-of-mouth marketing.  
  3. Once you’re following a local or small business on IG, there are many ways to support that business right inside the app.  Liking, commenting, sharing, and reposting their posts all contribute to increasing the engagement for that profile.  And increased engagement means more IG users see their posts.
  4. If you already have purchased something from a particular business, or even if you just visit, take a photo and post it to your feed like this or your stories like this. Be sure to use the tag the business using the @, location tag, and include any relevant hashtags.

I can assure you that spending an extra few minutes looking into local shopping for your needs is greatly appreciated by small businesses of every kind.  These may seem like tiny actions, but if we all do our part a little bit, it could have a bigger impact for all.

Let’s keep the economy moving… we’re all in this together!

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