people at the farmer's market

It’s Time to Support Your Local Businesses

The coronavirus has shut down thousands of stores across the country, and that can drag the local economy down.

The good news is you can support those that struggle to keep their businesses open. Here are five ideas:

1. Clear Their Summer Inventory

Usually, stores like women’s clothing boutiques stock up on inventory before the season. They can even buy more on items they believe will be in demand. Take, for example, cotton dresses for the summer.

With COVID-19 happening, though, fashion might be the last thing on many people’s minds. These stores will then end up with so much inventory taking up a lot of space.

You can help them by clearing their inventory. As the summer draws to a close, stores usually offer their seasonal goods at a discount. Now is the best time to buy them. If you’re looking for clothes, pick classic ones so you can still wear them in 2021.

2. Write Reviews on Their Site and Social Media

Personal reviews are powerful. According to a BrightLocal survey, at least 80% of consumers check reviews for local businesses.

The same survey also revealed that over 90% of young consumers trust them as much as recommendations from friends and family. This statistic is crucial since millennials and Generation Z account for the biggest number of consumers in the United States.

Leaving reviews also help other consumers like you decide better and get their money’s worth. But how do you do it? Share your notes in the following:

  • Store’s website
  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Stories
  • Google Business listing
  • Personal blog or site
  • YouTube videos
  • Twitter
  • Better Business Bureau (if you want to review the store)

employees at their small store

3. Buy Their Stuff as Presents

No one knows for sure how the holidays will be with COVID-19 around. However, people are still likely to buy and receive gifts.

Why don’t you choose presents for friends and family this early? Items are more affordable, and shipping need not be the next day. Plus, you can spend the holidays relaxing instead of scrambling for gifts.

4. Volunteer Your Skills

Labor is one of the most expensive expenses for any business. Paying the wages, though, is particularly hard these days because of the pandemic. Sales are slow, but the operation costs hardly change. It can even increase for others.

If you have a business close to your heart, one of the best ways to help them is to volunteer your time and skill:

    • Be a social media marketer for those who don’t have a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
    • Help them build an e-commerce website.
    • Offer tutorials for online marketing.
    • Spend at least a few hours a week working at the store.
    • Assist in deliveries.

5. Create Products for Them

Crises often bring out the best in people, and that includes their entrepreneurial spirit. Perhaps you’ve used your quarantine period to create a product, but you need more exposure and space to sell it.

You can partner with local stores. Offer to lease a small space or shelf for your goods. Let them sell your products on a consignment or commission. They can also consider adding a markup.

This setup is a win-win for many reasons. You can contact more customers, while the store benefits from your promotions. Most of all, everyone increases their revenues.

When these stores win, your local economy is also victorious. Financial recovery is faster for everyone.

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