BBB Tip: How to support small businesses during a pandemic holiday season

This year has been especially rough on small businesses. This holiday season, small companies need your support to make it through these uncertain times. Here are BBB’s tips on how everyone can show small businesses some love. 

By temporarily closing their doors, limiting capacity, or scaling back services, small businesses are helping to keep their customers and employees healthy. But the loss of income makes it tough to cover on-going expenses like rent and salaries. These tips may help your favorite businesses have the cash they need to make it through these lean times.  

Practical Ways to Support Small Business:  

  • Buy a gift card for later: Many small businesses that have had to close or reduce services are offering gift certificates at discounted rates for when they open back up. Look on business’s websites and social accounts.
     
  • Shop (local) online: Local shops and vendors may have closed their (physical) doors, but many still run online shops. Look for them on social media or check the business’s website for links to their online marketplace,
     
  • Look for virtual classes: People who work in training or professional development – anyone from your personal trainer to the person teaching your office’s public speaking workshop – are finding creative ways to move their instruction online. Even though your local gym is closed, your favorite yoga teacher may be hosting a live class online. Same goes for people who offer professional trainings. Now may be a good time to brush up on your skills through an online course.
     
  • Get take-out or delivery: Many restaurants and breweries are now offering takeout with reduced or absent dine-in experiences. Support these local institutions by getting your food or drinks to-go and enjoying it at home. Local food trucks are another way to show support. 
     
  • Skip the refund and take a rain check: If you paid in advance for an event, such as theater or concert tickets, a class, or a service, consider taking a credit for the future instead of asking for a refund. These businesses will appreciate not needing to issue so many refunds right now.

If your own wallet is feeling the pinch, here are some free ways to support small businesses.

  • Write an online review: This is a good time to finally get around to reviewing your favorite local business. These five-star reviews do help companies rank well in search engines and on other listing services, This is an easy, free way to show your favorite small businesses that you support them. Write a review on BBB.org now.
     
  • Like and share on social: Help your favorite business reach a broader audience by liking and sharing their information on social media. This will help them reach future customers and gain more exposure.
     
  • Tell your businesses that you appreciate their work: These are tough times! Keep moral up by reaching out to the businesses in your community and letting them know that you appreciate their hard work.

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