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How to support small businesses during lockdown

support small businesses during lockdown

Written by Penny

How to support small businesses during lockdown

We’ve all faced a pretty crap couple of weeks. Managing your own small business, pushing people to shop local and trying to fight the rising trend towards online shopping are all hard enough without the loss of control created by the current pandemic. So how can we support small businesses during lockdown?

It’s been super heartening to see communities rallying around their favourite independents, helping to keep them afloat. 

This time of crisis has brought with it a huge amount of empathy for the self-employed: Aidan’s kitchen in Newcastle had a regular come in and buy a year’s worth of his favourite coffee order. The Lazy Dog in Bristol said their hearts were touched by many people came in to buy pints purely in support of the pub when they could have easily got much cheaper booze from the shop (in fact, Bristol has its own listing of food businesses to help support in their time of crisis). We know there are plenty of you out there who want to help.

Shake and Speare’s suggestions for how to support small businesses during lockdown:

  1. Buy gift vouchers to use at a later date
  2. Look out for local businesses that are providing delivery services 
  3. Patronise greengrocers and corner stores, rather than supermarkets
  4. Interact with your favourite small businesses on social media
  5. Once lockdown is lifted, don’t support large businesses that treated their employees poorly

Buy gift vouchers to use at a later date

Bills still need paying even whilst there is no cash flow coming in. If you’re in Bristol, Bath, Brighton and Hove, Birmingham or Cardiff, think about supporting independent businesses using Wriggle’s Indie Kittie. Purchase a voucher ranging from £5 to £40 and Wriggle will automatically transfer the funds on to the business. 

If you’re outside of these areas, get in contact with your chosen business via email or social media (it’s unlikely they’ll have anyone manning the phones at the moment!) and let them know you wish to purchase a gift voucher. Then they’ve got money coming in and you’ve bought a nice post-lockdown present for yourself. 

Look out for local businesses that are providing delivery services

Many greengrocers are now offering veg boxes for delivery. Some restaurants that weren’t previously will now do takeout. Your favourite independent jewelry store or art shop may now be offering delivery services, even if they don’t have an online site. Make sure to check with them and see what they are able to do for you. When it comes to takeout, ordering from a business directly (where possible) is better than using services deliveroo, who charge up to 30% commission

Patronise greengrocers and corner stores, rather than supermarkets

This one’s probably obvious. Your local greengrocer needs your support more than a big name supermarket chain. It is also likely that its produce will not have travelled as far as the produce in larger stores. Additionally, corner stores – where they are open – have not been hit as hard by panic buying and may still have necessities in stock.

Interact with your favourite small businesses on social media

Not only is this good publicity for them, but as an extra bonus, you’ll be bringing some well needed emotional support. In a time of uncertainty and worry, expressing your endearment directly to a small business can do wonders to brighten a person’s day.

Make sure to like their posts, use your spare time to pop up a 5 star rating on tripadvisor or Google and recommend them to friends. If they’re offering delivery service, definitely pop up a post about it on your own social media. If you see lists of local businesses to support floating around, cast your eyes down it and check that they’re listed.

Once lockdown is lifted, don’t support large businesses that treated their employees poorly

If you’re in the swing of patronising small businesses, don’t fall out of good habits once the lockdown is lifted! Continue to show your appreciation, as it is unlikely that bouncing back from quarantine is going to be easy. Try to remember which businesses offered their support to the community or went to lengths to make sure their employees would not be suffering and don’t reward those that turned a blind eye.

And talking of small businesses… 

Shake and Speare is a small business too! 

We specialise in getting tradespeople online and building their online presence. With the current shit storm that’s going on, we know there’s lots of you looking to get or bolster your online presence. We’re more than happy to offer a quick and easy basic one page website – built and hosted on our servers – for free. You just buy the domain address (we can do this for you). 

This’ll be a quick start point for you. It’ll be a fast and dirty mock up, it won’t rank high up on Google (unless we put some more work into it at a later date when cash flow is better) but it’s a start. If you want a chat (about this or anything else online), please feel free to give us a call on mobile or text:01174 418 681 or email on enquiries@shakeandspeare.com

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