Last year local businesses took a huge hit because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 50 percent of all small businesses were forced to temporarily close, and active employment dropped significantly during this time. With that being said, small businesses are at the backbone of American society and need our support more now than ever. This is why I have some great tips on how to support local businesses on their way back to becoming fully open and functional.
- Support Local Restaurants
The first way you can contribute to helping out small businesses is by ordering from local restaurants. Restaurants were among the businesses hardest hit over the last year as most were forced to only serve at a limited capacity if at all. Some other ideas to help these businesses not just by eating in are to make sure to tip 20 percent when you visit, buy local gift cards and encourage friends and family to check them out as well or even hire a local catering company for a gathering you are having this summer. So find one near you and show your support by visiting and trying out some new cuisine.
- Buy Local Produce
The second way you can help support small businesses in your area is through buying local produce. There are over 8,500 farmers markets nationwide which are a great place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to stay healthy during the summer. In addition, visiting farmers markets can also be a lot of fun. Most of these markets don’t just sell produce but also set up booths for people selling arts and crafts, candles, lotions, soaps, honey, mushrooms, and fresh cut flowers. If you want to see a list of all the farmers markets, there is a directory on the USDA’s website where you can see all the options, and find one close to you.
- Free Ways you can Help
Some free or inexpensive ways to help local businesses include writing reviews online and leaving tips on small purchases when you shop. Many small businesses rely on online reviews for exposure and marketability. If you particularly enjoy your meal or the products you purchase from a store, or even just enjoy the experience, leave them a review on websites such as Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, or Google. Leaving tips on small purchases can also help out small businesses enormously as many are struggling to stay afloat and rely on tip money to help subsidize worker expenses. Here at the Cristian Rivera Foundation we are all about helping others and ourselves. So show you support for local businesses this summer and try out something new in your area.
By Trevor Dominy