In 2018, the U.S. Small Business Administration cited that the United States has 30.2 million small businesses, making up for 99.9% of businesses in the entire country. Small firms accounted for 64% of new private sector jobs from 2005 – 2019. Small businesses account for a significant part of our community and economy – without small businesses, 47.5% of people would be jobless and competition and varied consumer choices would cease to exist. In 2019, consumers spent an estimated $19.6 billion on the 10th Annual Small Business Saturday alone.
Now more than ever, small businesses are facing severe financial vulnerability, with more than half a million small-business jobs at risk in just 22 of the 50 states.
The pandemic has hit everyone pretty hard, and you might feel helpless if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. The good news is that you don’t need any money to help out your local businesses.
Never underestimate the power of social media.
Found a local business you really love and would like to support? Follow them, share their posts, spread the word to get the message out about their services. Either way, engaging with small businesses online through commenting or tagging them in your purchases really helps with visibility and sales.
Leave a positive review.
One of the best ways to support is by word of mouth. People will be more likely to check out a local business if they’ve read a positive review or heard a personal testimony from someone in their community. Whether it’s on Yelp or Google, positive reviews greatly help direct new customers – but also keep our local business owners happy!
If you’re going to order takeout, don’t use apps like Postmates or DoorDash.
By ordering takeout directly from your favorite local businesses, you are helping them by giving them 100% of the order. Delivery apps like Postmates, UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub may seem to save small businesses by making them visible on their apps, however, it costs business owners roughly 20-30% per order, narrowing their already thin margins. Local businesses are getting a spotlight that otherwise would not be available, but it comes at a steep cost. On the other hand, the downside of ordering directly through local eateries is that there would be less business and fewer jobs for delivery drivers. There are clear pros and cons to our everyday conveniences but taking a bit more time out of our days to order directly from our local businesses might help our communities and economy.
Need some positivity? Read up on how local businesses are helping each other during this difficult time.