6 Ways to Financially Support Small Businesses and Shop Local

Support small businesses to help them weather the COVID-19 storm.

Local small businesses are owned and operated by our friends and neighbors—and it’s time to help our friends and neighbors out.

When we shop small, we can feel good and know we are doing good. Shopping small creates a ripple effect that will positively impact other businesses and community members.

According to the U.S. Small Business Association and the U.S. Department of Labor, small, independent businesses make a difference by:

  • Utilizing other local businesses, such as credit unions, farms, and utilities
  • Putting money into your community since, for every $100 you spend at local businesses, $68 will stay local
  • Employing 77 million Americans and generating new jobs
  • Creating opportunities for women- and minority-owned and operated businesses to thrive

However, operating a small business is a big job. Small business owners often need to make creative decisions and carefully balance their time and funding. But small business ownership can be even harder when a community is faced with a financial, health, or social crisis that disrupts regular routines.

Sharing love for local businesses doesn’t have to take an angel investment. Simply liking a Facebook business page, leaving a positive Yelp review, or encouraging a friend to check out a business makes a difference. 

Looking for other ways to help? You don’t have to go anywhere to put your money back in your community. Shop local and support small businesses. Here are six ways to invest in small businesses from home.

Order Takeout. Instead of a night out, have a night in and enjoy the best of your favorite corner bistro. Make your meal special by indulging in a special treat from a local café, restaurant, or bakery. Local restaurants often have pickup and delivery options. You may also be able to find a favorite on a meal delivery app like Uber Eats, Caviar, DoorDash, and Grubhub.

Send a Gift and Shop Local. The next time you need to let a special someone know you are thinking of them, see if your favorite local boutique or bookstore has an online shopping option. Send books, pantry items, home décor, and clothing from local shops, where they’ve been carefully curated. You’re not only sending a message to a friend that you’re thinking of them, but that you’re thinking of your local community.

Purchase a Gift Card and Support Small Business. Purchasing a gift card now to use later is another way to show you’re committed to the local lifestyle. It gives you something to look forward to and your local business a boost they can use and feel now.

Make a Donation. Local nonprofits often provide specialized services to the communities that need the most help. If your community is experiencing a crisis, chances are your small organizations are in need as well. Head to their website to make a donation, see if they are running a fundraiser on their Facebook page, or email an administrator to find out how you can help.

Become a Member. Arts and culture organizations make your neighborhood vibrant, showcasing the talents of local artists and performers and telling the stories of your community’s past. When you aren’t able to gather for a performance or visit your favorite gallery, you miss out on the beauty of the arts. Your arts and culture organizations miss you too! Show you want to see them again when times are better by making a donation or buying a membership.

Buy a Subscription. More likely than not, the business sharing the news of your local business community, as well as important breaking news, is your local newspaper or website. Are you a subscriber? Although you may be able to access emergency information for free online, community reporters are the ones behind-the-scenes making sure you have access to the news. If you are able to, share your appreciation of their work and the updates by becoming a subscriber.