During this time of uncertainty, many Los Angeles local businesses are struggling. However, there are simple ways to support small businesses that you can work into your new daily habits and routines. Let Coalition Technologies guide you through what to do and why it helps!
1. Shop Locally
Not only is shopping locally one of the best ways to support your favorite small business in Los Angeles, but it also comes with benefits for you. When you visit small businesses for your needs, you’ll be less likely to come into contact with large groups of people like you might at a big box store.
2. Visit Your Favorite Businesses Online
Businesses are quickly changing their strategies and switching to ecommerce. Support small businesses by visiting their store online and having your purchases delivered right to your home!
3. Consider Delivery
Like many businesses, restaurants are stepping up their game! Since restaurants were some of the first businesses to be impacted by the stay at home orders, they’ve worked to adapt to the new normal. This means that they’re relying heavily on carryout and delivery orders. If you can afford a restaurant meal, consider ordering out. This will help contribute much-needed business to your favorite local restaurant.
4. Take Advantage of a Less Competitive Climate
Businesses are not exactly focused on beating out their competitors right now. Instead, they’re focusing on staying in the black during a time when so many others are operating in the red. This means that they may be more likely to offer discounts and promotions for their customers. Availing promos is a mutually-beneficial way of supporting small businesses in Los Angeles.
5. Have Some Grace
Perhaps one of the most important things that you can do during this time is to remember your manners. Be gracious to the people who are working the “front lines” of essential businesses and know that small businesses may not be able to provide the same levels of service and speed that they did in the past. Recognize this and be grateful for their service.
6. Talk About Small Business Loans
Have you heard about the amazing loans available to small businesses during this time? Don’t assume that everyone has! Support small businesses by letting them know about all the things that they can do to protect their business during this time.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Voice Your Needs
It’s an unprecedented time for everyone, and small businesses rely on their loyal customers to know the best way to adapt. This means that there’s a lot of trial and error. Have a favorite local restaurant that’s offering takeout? Tell them if you need delivery. Need to stock your fridge with kombucha every day instead of venturing out? Give your brewer the idea to bottle up the good stuff and sell it in 6 packs. Finding yourself stuck in the house with only one pair of your favorite sweatpants? Let your local boutique owner know to stock up and buy a few more pairs for your next virtual meeting (we know the drill—business on the top, loungewear on the bottom). Support small businesses by telling them what you need.
8. Support Small Businesses As a Community
Look at the circle of businesses that you would traditionally support and get together (virtually, of course) to determine how you can all help each other out. Commit to getting delivery from your local restaurants instead of chain restaurants, and ask your community to shop for supplies from the bodega instead of the big box store. Doing this will not only harbor a sense of community but can also be the backbone of keeping small business in Los Angeles alive during the crisis.
9. Carefully Consider Gift Cards
Buy gift cards but consider the “Groupon” effect where businesses sell too many gift cards and struggle later on with revenue since their customers are using them exclusively. A good rule of thumb to follow is if a business is not operating right now, buy a gift card. If they are operating right now, purchase products or services that you need.
10. Get Ready to Shop
There’s no way to truly know what’s going to happen after this crisis. While it may take years for the economy to bounce back, be prepared for a stronger and faster comeback. If you’re able to save money while you’re social distancing, consider setting aside some of that money to spend when restrictions are lifted and you can shop for leisure again. This won’t necessarily help support small businesses now, but it will allow them to recover faster when things get back to normal.
11. Spend Your Stimulus Check
Barring issues of unemployment where you might be relying on the stimulus check to help you get through a week or two, it may be a good idea to spend your stimulus check. These checks help infuse money back into the local economy, so spending yours at a local retailer, restaurant, or even a small entrepreneurial venture can help support small businesses. Always remember to spend within your means, though.
12. Make Smaller Payments
A global pandemic and financial crisis are probably not the best times to make huge purchases, but the truth is that you’re likely going to need to buy some things during this time. One of the ways that small businesses are making this easier is by offering financing options. Companies such as Afterpay, Sezzle, and Affirm have flexible payment schemes. Look for these to crop up in more stores as the crisis continues, and consider using them to make your big purchases less painful.
13. Referrals Are Helpful
Giving referrals person to person, on social media, and in message boards can all help small businesses. This is also one of the best ways to support small businesses if you don’t really have the money to spend. It costs nothing to let your friends know about your favorite small business or to post about it online. While you’re at it, consider leaving some reviews for businesses that you regularly shop at to help boost their reputation.
14. Support Small Businesses by Keeping Your Commitments
If you’ve made a commitment for an essential service with a small business in Los Angeles, keep that appointment. Now is not the time to cancel the things that you’ve scheduled as long as you can still practice social distancing, and it could be a crucial factor in helping the business stay open.
15. Just Stay Home
For the health and safety of everyone, follow the orders and just stay home. The more people who follow these orders, the slower the spread of the virus, and the faster things can get back to a semblance of normalcy! Your favorite small businesses, above everything, want to be back to business as usual, and you likely want the same thing. Make the sacrifice to support small businesses and keep everyone healthy.
Get Support Now!
Are you part of a small business looking for ways to hang on during these trying times? Competitors are scaling back their marketing efforts, meaning now is the time to ramp yours up with site optimization, social media marketing, email outreach, and more! If you’re part of a small business or a local company looking for ways to find support during the COVID-19 pandemic, Coalition Technologies can help while still practicing social distancing. Contact us today.