It’s often said that supporting local businesses is essential to a thriving community. Following this spring’s COVID-19 closures, it’s more important than ever to stand behind the stores, restaurants, services, and people that make Louisville the unique, vibrant city that it is.
If you’re wondering how you can show your support for local businesses, we have plenty of ideas.
Buy a Gift Card for Yourself
If you want to support a local business that you can’t visit right away, consider purchasing a gift card. This helps show the proprietors that you’re standing behind them right now, even if you won’t be stopping in for a few months. Dollars spent now will go a long way to replenishing stock and recouping losses.
Buy a Gift Card for Someone Else
Want to spread the love? Buy a gift card for a friend, colleague, or loved one, and you very well might make a customer for life. According to Business Wire, 90% of consumers who receive a gift card from a business they’ve never visited say they will shop at that business and will return there in the future.
Follow your favorite businesses on social media and let them know you’re rallying behind them. If they have an email newsletter, sign up. Share posts from local businesses that you think your friends will want to see. Post your haul on your social media and tag the business or use the appropriate hashtags. You could even snap a selfie while you’re getting your taxes done!
Book That Appointment
If you had to cancel an appointment due to coronavirus – or you’ve just been putting one off forever – schedule it now! Just knowing that business is coming in is an excellent gift to any small business owner.
Restaurant and service workers took a real hit when everyone was self-quarantined. Help them recoup by adding a little extra on the tip line. As a bonus, it’ll make you feel great (seriously – random acts of kindness release dopamine, causing what’s known as a “helper’s high” according to the Cedars-Sinai Blog).
Donate Those Cleaning Supplies
Went a little overboard buying up Lysol wipes? Donate them to a business or nonprofit that will put them to good use.
Return to Your Faves
If you haven’t visited or supported one of your favorite local businesses in a long time, consider this your cue. They miss you!
Find Some New Faves
It’s great to support businesses you already love, but part of the fun of living in Louisville is getting to explore hidden treasures. There are some genuinely wonderful gems out there waiting! To get you started on your journey, the array of businesses you’ll find in this very magazine is incredibly varied – it’s a great place to begin!
If you’ve never left reviews for businesses that you love, now is the time. Include specific information about what you love about the business, what they offer, and how it’s unique. Positive reviews have a lasting impact on influencing potential customers.
Ask How You Can Help
Many business owners, retail workers, and service industry professionals are feeling the mental and emotional strain, even as things improve. Ask them how you can help. Everyone needs a little kindness right now, and every kind act makes an enormous impact.
If you’re in the position to help a local business on a higher level, now is a great time to make a plan for that to happen. There are lots of guides online on becoming an investor in small, local businesses. You can also speak to your bank, wealth management professional, and community development companies/loan funds. You could also consider CSAs, cooperatives, or supporting crowdfunding projects.
Keep It Going
Once everything is back to “business as usual”, the community will feel less urgency to support local stores and services. It’s essential to help keep the momentum rolling! Join an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of all things local, such as Louisville Independent Business Alliance. Encourage people around you to shop locally, and be sure you lead by example.