Supporting local businesses has always been important. By supporting the people who live and work in your neighbourhood, you’re helping your community grow and flourish. Culture and commerce thrive when local businesses do.
This year, many local businesses have had to shutter their doors. In the retail space, these businesses may usually rely heavily upon foot traffic – which, for good reason, has been at a minimum. We’re going to look at seven ways you can support local businesses without having to set foot in their stores.
Use curbside pickup
Delivery costs reduce the profit margins businesses make on any sale – outside of the cost for postage, they’ve also got to purchase packing supplies and take the time to wrap what they’re sending. Those labour and supply costs add up – so use curbside or in-store pickup instead, wave at your favourite local business owner, and know that you’ve done a good thing.
Order directly from restaurants
There are a lot of food delivery services out there, from Skip the Dishes to DoorDash – generally, restaurants that offer their own delivery service prefer you use theirs. They get a bigger cut. Not sure which restaurants offer delivery in Winnipeg? You’re in luck – volunteers put together a page called Let’s Order Delivery.
Buy essentials locally
While it’s tempting to shop at Walmart, you
can opt instead to buy your groceries from local stores. Here in Winnipeg, you can check out the Good Local Essentials page – restaurants like The King’s Head and Diversity Foods are offering grocery packs in addition to their regular wares.
Pay in advance
When most of us think about supporting local, we think of brick-and-mortar businesses – retail, restaurants, that kind of thing. That means neglecting service-based businesses – cleaners, educators, and other people who we rely on when we can actually see other people. Consider paying these people for services you know you’re going to use, in advance – right now, cash flow is tight at many businesses, and advance payment can help them stay afloat.
Show your gratitude
There are a lot of ways of showing that you care about a small business. You can thank them in comments on social media. You can leave them a review on Google Maps. You can even write them up a glowing referral – particularly useful if they’re service-based. Basically, you should represent the small businesses you care about, and help them get more customers!
Local businesses are often operating with reduced staff, reduced hours of operation, and reduced operating income. In other words, they’ve got a lot fewer resources than they usually would. Things might go a bit slower than they would normally – especially if you order mail delivery. Be patient – things will get to you, they just may take longer.
Tips generally go directly to staff – and that’s important. While small business owners are struggling, their staff often are too, unsure of whether or not a new lockdown will mean a new round of layoffs. Tips can help them get through tough times. Only spare what you can, of course – the pandemic has been hard on most of us.
Our accounting firm in Winnipeg understands how tough times can be right now for local businesses. We have many local businesses for clients, and we’re one too. Winnipeggers are strong – together, we can make it through to the other side.