The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. Running a local business has always been a tough feat, but now small businesses face new challenges. Non-essential businesses were completely closed for three months. After that, public health and safety measures has meant running on reduced hours, reduced staff, and reduced patrons for some. Coming back from that has been difficult for some local businesses.
On Air is a small local business in Calgary. We are proud to be part of our community and feel strongly about the importance of supporting our neighbouring businesses. We are part of the 17th Avenue Business Group and the community within the Mount Royal Village area. We’ve done a little research and wanted to give our readers some ideas for how they can support local businesses.
Many of us shopped online a lot before the pandemic hit, but have turned to it almost exclusively now. Before you search for things you need on Amazon, do a little research and try to find a local business that offers the same or similar products. Many local businesses have opened e-commerce stores in light of COVID and can provide delivery, curbside, or in-store pickup.
If you’re masking up for a shopping day out, try to hit local shops and markets instead of the big box stores. Spending a few dollars extra by making local purchases will help a small business owner and keep your money in the local economy. If we don’t support our local businesses, they will start to disappear.
It’s a dog eat dog world on the internet, and everyone is competing for your attention. If you have a favourite restaurant, bar, shop, artisan, farmer, (recording studio), home service, etc. find them on social media. Start liking, commenting, and sharing their posts. Helping them increase local engagement and awareness is a simple way you can help promote their business.
More consumers look to online reviews when making a purchasing decision. If you had a good experience with a local business, take a few moments to leave them a positive review online. They deserve the recognition, and have a couple more yellow stars next to their name will help them do more business.
If you’re feeling nervous about visiting local businesses in person, that’s okay too. Even though they’re open to the public and following public health guidelines, many are still catering to their customers who would rather not visit in person. Ask them about paying over the phone or online, if they offer take out or delivery for food services or curbside pickup for purchases.
Even if it is not advertised on their website, most will accommodate when asked. Businesses want your business and are willing to serve you in a way that’s most comfortable if they’re able to. Afterward, be sure to like their Instagram posts and leave them a positive review on Google for going the extra mile.
Do you live or work in the 17th Ave area? Find a local business near you. Let’s show our support – because we are all in this together.
More people in the world have mobile phones than toilets