5 ways you can support small businesses

Written by Heather Topics: App User, Blog

Easy ideas to help you play your part in supporting small businesses.

On 15 June 2020, non-essential retail shops in England welcomed customers once again after months of lockdown. From 4 July 2020, hospitality and leisure businesses in England also reopened.

Life under lockdown has been tough for businesses who have been closed since the end of March. Never has there been a more important time to support small businesses as they start on the road to recovery.

And, despite facing such obstacles and uncertainty, FSB’s New Horizons report uncovered the amazing ways small businesses are continuing to help their communities during the crisis.

Businesses will be learning to operate in new ways as they implement social distancing and new COVID-19 secure guidelines, so backing small businesses will make a huge difference.

Here are five ways you can show your support to your local businesses.

1. Engage on social media

Social media is a great tool for independent businesses, however it can be hard for them to build up awareness and followers without using paid advertising. Something as simple as liking or sharing a post can really expand the reach of their content – plus, it takes two seconds to do!

Invite your friends to like their page if it’s something you think they’d be interested in, or share their posts to spread the word that the business has reopened.

You could start by sharing these tips on social media!

2. Leave reviews

Reviews aren’t just for bad experiences! In fact, with people often quicker to write bad reviews than good ones, sharing your positive experience goes a long way in building up their brand and reputation.

If you’ve had a really good experience with a local small business, it’s incredibly helpful to leave a review so that this encourages others to visit.. Great places to leave these include Facebook, Google and TripAdvisor.

3. Shop local

We all know how easy it is to head to big name retailers for our shopping, or popular chain restaurants, however in the same breath many of us complain about local shops shutting. Venturing out into your local community and supporting small, independent shops, bars and restaurants is what will help to keep them going. And, you’ll be surprised how many gems you can find on your doorstep.

You can also show support by ordering online with local businesses if they offer this service, or give them a call to ask about deliveries. ‘Clicks and mortar’ is becoming increasingly popular as more consumers head online – this  way, you get the convenience of deliveries whilst also supporting a small business.

4. Make use of local apps

Many areas have apps dedicated to the place, which can give you a great deal of information and benefits. For example, FSB member LoyalFree have an app available in 22 towns and cities, which can be used to find local discounts, collect loyalty stamps, see what’s on and also explore digital trails.. The app is free and can even help you with simple tasks, such as finding the best parking spots or marking which businesses have opened.

The launch of the recent LoyalFree Marketplace also enables you to buy directly from independent businesses online. By engaging with LoyalFree, which is supported and funded by local Business Improvement Districts, there is no extra cost to the local businesses and every time you collect loyalty stamps LoyalFree also donate to charity.

5. Be an ambassador

Supporting our small business community is going to be a collective effort by all, so being an ambassador and speaking proudly about the great businesses in your area will help to spread the word. If you want your town or city to have great independent businesses in the future, then it’s going to need more footfall.

Share your positive experiences with the business, whether it’s through your own social media or simply by talking to friends, family and colleagues. People are far more likely to engage with businesses that have been recommended to them.

As we navigate this new normal, your support will be essential for small businesses who are reopening.

Original article from the FSB can be found here.

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