The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people’s lives and livelihoods in so many ways. Even though things are slowly starting to get back to normal, it’s apparent how the past couple of years have drastically affected the economy. Many workers have lost their jobs, and many small businesses have permanently closed their doors.
Although the damage is massive, it is not insurmountable. Communities now have the opportunity to stimulate and contribute to their local economy. After all, a stable local economy leads to improved security and safety, which, in turn, allows other aspects of community life to thrive.
You can also do your part in rebuilding the local economy. Here are some of the ways you can give local businesses a fighting chance.
#1. Buy Local
When you have shopping to do, it’s tempting to take the most convenient route and head down to the mall or order from large online retailers. However, how many of these items can you purchase locally? It’s very likely that you can source most of them from businesses in your area.
If you want to see local businesses survive and flourish, stay close to home. By shopping from locally owned businesses, you reap benefits such as:
- Helping to create more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for the community.
- Keeping more money circulating in the local economy. According to a report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, for every dollar spent in local businesses, more than half goes back to the local economy.
- Local business owners are more invested in the development of the community, so they’re more likely to support community initiatives and events.
- You get the opportunity to connect with your neighbors.
- Shopping from local stores is better for the environment since you can easily visit them on foot or by bicycle. Locally grown or manufactured products also don’t need to be shipped long distances, which means they have a lower carbon footprint.
#2. Hire Local
If you’re looking for extra hands for a specific project, consider outsourcing to service providers based in your area. Many people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have now turned to self-employment and freelancing.
There are apps and platforms where you can directly connect with local freelancers to outsource tasks such as babysitting, dog walking, lawn mowing, washing your windows, cleaning the yard, building a website, or designing a logo.
#3. Pledge to Local Funding Initiatives
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is getting sufficient funding to turn their plans into reality. Unfortunately, some may not be able to secure the funding they need to grow because they don’t look strong enough on a loan application.
You can help your local entrepreneurs by pledging to local funding initiatives or crowdfunding. Check out sites like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Patreon to find businesses in your area looking to raise capital.
#4. Participate or Volunteer at Community Events
Your presence at community events such as farmer’s markets, music festivals, or art fairs can make a huge difference—even if you don’t spend anything. Most of these events rely on sponsorships. Potential sponsors typically factor in event attendance to determine whether an initiative or opportunity is worth investing in.
You can also volunteer at charitable or non-profit organizations to support causes that help improve the lives of people in need. Volunteering allows you to give back to society and connect with people from all walks of life. As a bonus, having volunteering activities on your resume can help with your professional and career advancement.
#5. Support Local Businesses Online
Don’t underestimate the power of a good review. Most consumers look for honest, independent reviews for businesses they haven’t visited before. So take a few minutes to write a thoughtful review on sites like Yelp, Google, or Trip Advisor.
Here are some other ways to show your support and boost the online presence of local businesses:
- Follow the social media accounts of your favorite local businesses
- Check in on Facebook when you visit their location
- Tag the company on relevant snapshots on Instagram and Facebook
- Include a photo when you post on review sites
Central Pennsylvania Local Interior Designers
T2B Interiors is a locally owned business with years of experience in commercial space design and the procurement of commercial furniture, flooring, window treatments, and accessories.
Our team handles every step of the process—from conception to completion. Contact us today to see how we can bring your dream project into reality.