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How to support small businesses
November 19, 2020
By Rocio M.R.
Running a small business is big work, and small businesses need support now more than ever. There are lots of benefits to keeping our small business communities strong — small businesses tend to give back to our communities in ways that major retailers can’t always do. Not only do they provide employment and offer unique products and services, but they contribute their unique character to the local area as well.
November 19th is National Entrepreneurs Day, and celebrates the idea that entrepreneurs put a lot on the line to see their visions come to life. From financial burdens on their families, longer working hours than most, and the dedication it takes to gain momentum in their communities, their task is no easy feat. This season also happens to be a time where a lot of holiday shopping and gift planning occurs, making it the perfect occasion to consider how you can support small businesses and entrepreneurs in your area. Follow some of our tips below to support small businesses, learn why it’s important, and how you can give back.
Studies have shown the positive impact that supporting small businesses can have on local communities. For example, when you spend $100 at a local business, $68 stays in your local community as opposed to the $43 that stays when you buy non-local. This kind of investment in the local community allows local businesses to support their peers by establishing strong relationships with one another, supporting each other’s causes, volunteering to meet community needs, and bringing in more money to the local economy rather than handing it off to distant corporations. The best part—shopping local and supporting small businesses means you can help create more jobs in your own community. With that, here are a few ways you can support people on Entrepreneur's Day and every day, especially during the holiday season.
Visit farmer's markets
Visting an indoor or outdoor seasonal farmer’s market is an excellent way to become acquainted with what businesses and products are available in your area. Many farmer’s markets take place over the weekends in community centers or in nearby parks. Sample delicious homemade breads and jams, buy fresh produce from neighboring farms, and potentially fall in love with a local business.
Buy holiday gifts locally
While we’ve all been in a pinch when it comes to finding quick gifts for someone in the family, consider buying gift cards from local establishments and gifting those instead. Not only does it support a small business, it’s also spreads awareness about the goods and services they offer to someone who might not know. Word of mouth is powerful!
Engage on social media
Look to see if your favorite local businesses have social media presence on the platforms you browse daily. Leave them reviews on your favorite products or tag them in posts when you’re using their product. Entrepreneurs enjoy seeing their customers happy and your positive feedback makes the hard work they put into their business feel worthwhile. It also helps their business name circulate to nearby friends and family, and it can help drive traffic to their page for online orders.
Call directly for take-out
If your favorite Thai restaurant isn’t affiliated with third-party delivery apps, it’s likely due to the ticket price associated with using these apps. Several apps you use for delivery take a chunk of the profits a restaurant might make. This can in turn make it difficult for a small business to make enough profits off their meal orders. Consider calling your favorite establishments personally and paying them directly for their delivery services to maximize profits for them.
If you need to take care of your holiday shopping online this year and would like to dodge the frenzy of shopping in-store, doing so with a local business is a great alternative. We recommend doing this in advance during the holiday season, as these establishments don’t always have the workforce to meet orders as quickly as big-box retailers do. Be patient! The wait is worth it.
There are so many incredible benefits to supporting small businesses throughout the year. From increasing jobs to giving back to the community in more intentional ways, there are several long-term benefits to shopping local. Learn more about CenturyLink’s offerings for small businesses and read more about topics like this on our blog. Happy shopping!