The reality of the situation is that times are tough. The American economy has slowed, growth has stalled, and millions of people are unemployed. The Worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses and created countless uncertainties.
However, no matter how dark and difficult things may seem, there are still plenty of small businesses working hard every day to make ends meet. Some have scaled back on growth plans, others have cut costs by restructuring and negotiating, still others have opted to run as skeleton or shell companies until we reach brighter and better days. Hope and optimism will prevail, but not without a significant struggle.
Money is tight for nearly everyone. Most small businesses understand that consumer behaviors have changed and that disposable income isn’t nearly what it was just months ago. These operators know that they have to do more with less and stretch every dollar. Simply put, they could use your help.
Consumers are not obligated to help any small business survive. However, small businesses make up over 90% of all American enterprises. These small businesses are the foundation of our economy.
As much as we would all like to financially support our friends and neighbors, it’s just not possible. However, there are some things that we can all do to help small businesses thrive:
Comment on social media posts from your favorite small businesses. Facebook and Instagram run on highly developed algorithms. Commenting on posts influences these algorithms far more than a like. Interact with brands as much as possible.
Share posts from the businesses that you support. The people in your own social
networks tend to share similar hobbies and interests. By sharing a post from a business on your own feed you greatly increase the reach of that business and their ability to sell products and services to likely customers. Small businesses are always looking to reach new customers. Any way that you can help these businesses attract eyes to products or services can be a huge help.
Choose to receive email and text messages from your favorite small businesses. This allows these businesses to reach you and for you to never miss a sale, promotion, or event. Emails and text messages are great ways to share information at a low cost to small businesses. Recipients of emails and text messages often get the best prices, earliest opportunities, and notifications of future campaigns.
Make your own posts highlighting your favorite businesses. This is called user generated content (UGC). These posts help businesses of all sizes reach new audiences. UGC can come in the form of static images, videos, testimonials, or any other kind of unique messaging. Consider creating your own content the next time you’re in your favorite shop or receive a package delivered to your door.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of many of our communities. Even when it may be difficult to support these businesses during difficult economic times, you can still show you care by taking small steps to help them stay open.