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Op/Ed

5 underrated ways to support small businesses

(EDITORIAL) Want to support small businesses but can’t buy their products right now? No problem, take note of these other tips to support small!

Woman standing in blue doorway welcoming people into their small businesses. Support for small businesses

Everyone’s felt at least a twinge of struggle over the last two years. Those who are really feeling this struggle across the board are small business owners. With so much uncertainty and so much closing around them, there’s a great deal of added stress to go on top of what they typically deal with.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help. Let’s talk about them:

  1. Buy a gift card, for yourself or for a friend – if there is someone in your life you need to purchase a gift for, consider a gift card to a small business, either online or in the recipient’s area. Even buying a catch-all gift card for something like Etsy helps to support small businesses.
  2. Write a review – I never realized until recent years just how important online reviews are. I almost always refer to them now when deciding on a new purchase or trying a new business. Writing a review only takes a few minutes and can send new business to the company’s door. Consider writing one review and posting it across all of their platforms (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)
  3. Take social media a step further – again, if you like a business, follow them across all of their platforms. Interact and comment when appropriate, too, as this helps people who are considering trying the business. Sharing pictures is also helpful, if you tried a fancy coffee or got a great haircut that needs to be Instagrammed. When you buy something, post a story and tag the business in there. It alerts your followers of the business and also gives the business an option to share your post.
  4. Word of mouth – never forget how powerful of a marketing tool this is. Tell your friends and family about a new small business you tried and let them know how you liked it. Also grabbing a few business cards and handing them out is also a helpful tactic (and might just help you get a referral promo!)
  5. Mail them a thank you card – this is an obscure one, but some businesses will display cards they get in the mail, and giving them something to hang up will give new customers a sense of encouragement that the business they’re trying is liked by real people. (“Wow, someone went out of their way to send a thank you note. This place must be good!”) The business can then also share your card on social media and will further pass along the sense of encouragement to the potential customers in their followership.

At the end of the day, your feedback matters – not just to business owners, but to prospective clients and customers. Throw some good karma into the world and support the small businesses that you love.

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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