The last few weeks have seen small businesses being forced to accommodate remote work for the first time. Most restaurants have shifted to takeout only, and many retail store owners have temporarily had to close their doors completely as a matter of precaution. As a small business based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Izell Marketing Group is acutely aware of the need to support other small businesses during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history.
How can you help sustain small business owners and service industry workers when people across the country are practicing socially distancing- even quarantining themselves inside their homes?
Monetary Ways to Support Small Businesses
If you have money to spare, consider setting aside a little bit to help others who are not as fortunate. Many Americans currently find themselves completely out of work, or will in the very near future. Here are a few ways you can help financially support a small business or individual during the COVID-19 quarantine:
Buy Gift Certificates
Figure out how much you spend per week on dining out/entertainment/date nights/etc. Take that amount and choose a different small business each week to buy a gift certificate from. You could keep them for yourself to use at a later date, or donate them to people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak like healthcare workers. Even if you can only afford a little, your contribution can help a small business stay afloat.
Virtually Tip Service People, Entertainers, and Other Creatives
Consider using money apps like Venmo, PayPal, or the Cash app to “tip” your friends and family in service industries: bartenders, hairdressers, waitstaff, massage therapists, etc. One local, innovative idea that’s developed here in Chattanooga is this website that randomly chooses someone in a service industry and links to their tipping app of choice.
Many shelters (both those for animals and humans) rely on donations, and most have been forced to cancel their annual Spring fundraising events, putting them in a bind. Call your local animal, domestic violence, or homeless shelter and see what they need. You can have the items delivered and ease their stress without ever leaving your couch!
Free Ways to Support Small Businesses
This is a tough time for everyone in the country right now, and the finances of many are negatively impacted. If you find yourself short on cash but still want to help, here are some free ways you can support small businesses during this time.
Like/Comment/Share on Social Media
Any small business owner will tell you that social media plays a huge part in gaining customers and generating new income. While you’re scrolling on Facebook, consider hyping your friend’s boutique/your incredible hairstylist/your artist friend, etc. by liking, commenting, and sharing their business on social media.
Leave 5-Star Reviews
Leaving a positive review instantly gives that small business credibility. If you’ve had a great experience, use some of your internet time to leave 5-star reviews for small businesses you love. Be descriptive with what you love about them. It’s a small way to make a huge impact on their business for when they can open their doors to the public again.
Book Future Appointments
Things are uncertain right now, but it won’t be this way forever. Help businesses feel a little more secure by booking future appointments with them. Even if it’s 4 months down the road, it’s a little way to say, “Hey, I know you’re going to make it, and I support your presence in this community.”
We will all get through this together if we help each other out. Check out some of our favorite small businesses below and consider following them, liking them, and buying from them, whether it be goods or gift certificates to use for a service in the future.