Our country's economy is currently struggling, but that doesn't mean that small businesses have to go under. In fact, we can help small businesses stay afloat by supporting them in some low-cost and efficient ways. Here are five ways to get you started on supporting small, locally-owned businesses near you.
Follow and Engage With Small Businesses On Social Media
Small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees, account for 99.7% of all businesses in the United States. This percentage is astonishing, as many people instantly think of and utilize the services of corporations out of convenience and lower costs. On the other hand, small businesses, whether they be clothing shops, supermarkets, gas stations, thrift stores, or a business in the construction or HVAC industry, are locally owned and operated. While their prices may be a little higher or their hours be more limited, many of these small business owners rely on consistent business from locals to make a living. Remember, just because 24/7 service and cheap products are not available doesn't mean that the quality of service is low. In fact, many times small businesses will offer more personalized and personable services.
With more and more businesses utilizing social media to promote their services and/or products, consider following their pages on social media networks. Save their phone numbers in your phone to hand off to a friend. You never know when someone may be lacking internet service and be in need of the number to the local pizza shop or an emergency plumber. Engage with small businesses on social media by liking and commenting on their posts. Tell your friends to do the same, and this will help draw positive attention to small businesses in your area and hopefully gain them some new customers and clients.
Utilize Hashtags and Sharing Features to Promote Small Businesses
Along with following, liking, and commenting within social media networks, consider making and/or sharing stories that promote small businesses in your area. Sharing the local supermarket's Tweet about a current sale or an Instagram story of a job completed by your town's construction company are great ways to get the names of small businesses in your area circulated on the internet. Perhaps neighboring towns will want to utilize their services or look at their products in-house, too.
Hashtag usage is another great way to get more followers on social media networks. If you see that a small business has started using a creative hashtag or two for their business, consider sharing their stories and adding those hashtags to promote growth. These types of engagement may help small businesses significantly grow and gain new clientele in your town or city.
Reach Out to Corporations for Small Business Promotion
Sometimes, corporations and small businesses depend on each other. For example, the recreational boating industry in the U.S. has an annual economic impact of more than $121.5 billion, which includes direct, indirect, and induced spending. This supports 650,000 direct and indirect American jobs and nearly 35,000 small businesses.
Many small businesses in the construction, HVAC, manufacturing, and engineering industries -- and more -- are significantly impacted by the corporate world. To help small businesses stay afloat and perhaps earn more business, consider contacting corporations in and around your area. Ask them to promote small businesses through social media and to consider making purchases or deals with small businesses to support your town or city's economy.
Make Purchases Every Once In a While
Perhaps the most obvious way to support small, locally-owned businesses in your area is to simply buy their products and engage their services. If you have a leaky faucet, call your local plumber. If you're looking for a birthday or holiday gift for a loved one, look in boutiques and shops in your local area. Instead of shopping through large corporations online, purchase from small businesses every once in a while so you know that you're making a greater impact. Small business owners will truly appreciate it.
Attend Events Held By Small Businesses In Your Area
Alongside locally owned businesses, find online stores that are based out of your local town or city as well. Online clothing boutiques are becoming more and more popular, and many of them hold small pop-ups to promote their business and sell their products. Pop-up shops are booming, and they're getting more attention from small businesses with a current U.S. market value of $50 billion. Seems like a lot, right?
Aside from online store pop-ups, small businesses in your area may hold events to promote their own products and services. For example, a clothing store may hold a shop-and-drink event, a construction company may hold a scavenger hunt for kids, or a cafe may hold a karaoke night. Help out local businesses in your area by attending events and vocalizing your support.
Small business owners are the core of our country's economy. Help them stay afloat in these unprecedented times by following social media pages, liking and sharing their content with your own followers, reaching out to corporations and other businesses in your area, making purchases here and there, and attending events. Use your voice and sharing abilities to support small, locally-owned businesses near you. Small business owners rely on their customers, and they truly appreciate the support and business they receive now more than ever.