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Something that’s been on our minds lately is how we can support small businesses during these unprecedented times. Some of our local businesses have had to close their doors for good. Others are shutting down until further notice. Many others are just trying to keep their heads above water. Small Business Saturday is next weekend, so if you are one of those fortunate to be able to do so, here are some ideas on how you can support your small business owners in your community. (And remember, when you support your local business owner, there’s a domino effect. Now they have some money that they can use to support another local business owner, who supports another, who supports another, and so it goes.)


  1. This holiday season, think about shopping local businesses before shopping online or at a big box store. We’ve got a candy store and a gift shop in our area that we are visiting for Secret Santa gifts and stocking stuffers. We know we’ll probably pay a little more than if we had patronized a larger retailer, but we think it’s worth it to insure that these businesses are still around post-COVID. Usually we find some unique gems at these mom-and-pop stores that the larger stores don’t even carry, so that’s a bonus.
  2. Smaller Thanksgiving parties means not as many leftovers. Take out food from a local restaurant this weekend using curbside service (or pickup or their own delivery service) instead of a fee-charging delivery app. If you’re placing your order online, make sure you’re placing your order on the company’s own website – and if they don’t have an online ordering system, call it in. You’ll be putting more money into the business, as they will not have to incur the fees that these food delivery services charge. Help keep the profits in the business so they can pay their employees, pay their rent and keep buying high quality ingredients or products.
  3. Comment on or review a local business on social media sites like Facebook and Yelp. Let people know about their delicious food or quick service. Include a photo of yourself with the item you purchased. If you have a minor issue with the business, think twice about posting about it at this time. (You can always give them a call to resolve your issue.) Even just hitting Like on a Facebook post for the business will help the company build brand awareness.
  4. If you’re ordering lunch for a work event, order from the local restaurant instead of one of the chains in your area. Recently we found a small deli in our area that we had never thought about ordering from before. Everyone loved the food. Come to think of it, what encouraged us to consider and try out this business were some positive reviews on a neighborhood Facebook page.
  5. Comments on social media – Part II. Ask a question on sites like NextDoor or a neighborhood Facebook page. “Looking for suggestions on the best deli in the area…” You’re helping businesses get free publicity when others rave about someone’s deli sandwich or pizza or cupcakes.
  6. Purchase or take a yoga or fitness class online, either for yourself or for one of the people on your gift list.
  7. Tip as generously as you can. By tipping more, you help make up for lost revenue incurred by businesses who have had to restrict the amount of people coming into their establishment or who can no longer offer in-house dining. Wait staff and delivery drivers rely on those tips as part of their wages.
  8. Consider keeping your memberships to your fitness studio and your regular appointments with your hair stylist or massage therapist if your income has not been affected by the pandemic. These businesses rely on this monthly income and have had to incur additional safety costs.
  9. See if your local business offers any new services or products because of the pandemic. For example, our local hot dog place began offering cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer in the early days of the pandemic when it was difficult to find these items anywhere.
  10. Consider purchasing a gift card to a local store rather than a chain. If your recipient lives out of town, do a little research and see what small businesses you can support in their neighborhood. You can even treat yourself and save your gift card for later if the store has been affected by restrictions.