Over the past few crazy months, it has become increasingly difficult to support our local businesses. Some might have been forced to close or reduce hours. And we all appreciate that there is a level of convenience that bigger national chain stores offer, while we try and limit our time in public.
We’ve put together some tips on how we can all support local, especially during this current difficult period. If we each do our part, we might be able to help some struggling businesses come out the other side with us.
Shopping local is the best way that you can continue to support your favourite businesses, and enjoy the quality of service they provide. Whether you’re buying from your local butcher, baker or green grocer, you can rest assured that you’re paying for a quality product.
One of my favourite things about shopping local is being able to see, touch and smell what I’m buying, as well as understanding the origin of the product. It becomes an experience; being able to select exactly what you want, and having the option for fresh cuts of meat, or bread straight out of the oven (if you’re early enough). Being a ‘regular’ is a great feeling. A personal greeting from your friendly neighbourhood shopkeep builds a sense of community that is hard to beat.
If you prefer to be a little more cautious and avoid potential crowds, there are plenty of local businesses that have adapted to cater for the online market. Although we can’t all meet up in our favourite restaurants or go down to our local café for a Sunday brunch, you can continue to support local by ordering online.
There are also companies like Delish Deliveries in Sydney and Your Grocer in Melbourne, who sell fresh produce online directly from the farmer to your front door. Access to fresh foods without leaving the comfort of your home? Count me in!
Re-schedule Rather Than Cancel
From beauty salons to local tourism hotspots, there are plenty of businesses that rely on appointments to stay afloat. Although access to these types of services may be restricted in your local area (check here), it is best to re-schedule rather than cancel. This will allow you to plan that treat for yourself or the family in advance when restrictions are eased. It also helps these businesses make adjustments to help them keep ticking. Pro tip – buy a gift voucher for yourself to use later! It can be a nice treat for yourself, and a good way to help your favourite business maintain steady cash flow.
Be Social: Share on Social and Leave a Review
Word of mouth and reviews are still king when it comes to choosing where and what to buy. If your friend had a bad or great experience somewhere, they’re more than likely going to tell you about it. Unfortunately, it is often the good experiences that people don’t take the time to leave a review for.
The first place I check for a good café, or the best spot for takeaway, is with my friends for their ‘expert’ recommendations, or online for reviews. Writing a quick review, or sharing your experience online can really help out local businesses – it’s also a great way to help others know that they’re open.
Join Your Local Good Karma Network
Like most, I like to lend a helping hand where I can, and being in isolation makes doing so a little more difficult. Fortunately, my colleagues directed me to my local ‘good karma network’ on Facebook, where I could get involved and give back. And as above, it’s a great place for recommendations from true locals in your area.
These are great places to meet more people in your neighborhood, or to simply lend a hand to those in need. I have seen people preparing meals for those doing it tough, giving away technology they no longer use or simply offering advice where needed.
Supporting local businesses and even more so, each other, really shows how we can adapt and come together as a community. Although all states and territories currently have varying levels of restrictions, if you’re looking for something to do, why not check out your local Facebook groups? Or even see if your council can direct you to services that need volunteers? We’re all in this together.
Got some recommendations for those living in your local area? We’d love to hear about them. Feel free to send them through to me via email here, or call me on 03 9963 4804.