With one of the busiest shopping seasons upon us, the global coronavirus pandemic is yet again on the rise. Many small to mid-sized businesses and restaurants have been forced to shut their doors once again due to new restrictions put in place to help reduce the spread of the virus. Small business owners are experiencing a change to their business models, including a decrease in customers and in cash flow. Roughly 99.9% of businesses in America are small businesses1, making it essential that consumers support them, especially this holiday season and into 2021.
Below are a few examples of how to support your local businesses during the holiday season.
1. Gift Cards or Gift Certificates
An easy way to help support small businesses during the holiday season is to purchase gift cards or gift certificates. These are great stocking stuffers and your purchase will help put money into the business quickly. Some businesses will allow you to purchase gift cards or gift certificates over the phone or online with your First Bank Debit Mastercard® and mail it to you, while others may require you to pick it up in person.
2. Carry Out or Catering
Many restaurants are often small businesses and feel the impact from revised restrictions and subsequent shutdowns as well. Although dining inside the restaurant might be restricted, owners have been adapting to these changes by offering curbside pick-up, heated outdoor dining and catering. Consider a holiday meal being catered from your favorite small business restaurant, ordering carry out, or participating in curb-side pick-up. If you opt for your food to be delivered, ensure you tip your delivery driver. Not only are businesses still being affected by the pandemic, so are the employees that work that depend on their tips and wages.
3. Shop Online
With new restrictions in place, many businesses have been forced to shut down or reduce the number of customers they can allow in the business at a time. As a result, customers may have to wait in line for their turn to enter the store due to capacity limits. Many businesses also sell their products online, so check their website and consider ordering your gifts online from a local merchant versus a larger retailer. Our secure debit or credit cards can be used for easy online payments and the gifts that you order will be shipped to your home.
4. Spread the Word
If you can’t support your local small businesses by purchasing gifts or meals, you can still support them through word of mouth. Word of mouth is an effective way to help bring exposure to a business and help bring the business new customers. Share with your family members or your online network what you enjoy most about your local small businesses. It’s an easy and simple way to show support.
Learn more about how to support local businesses during COVID-19.
5. Think Local
If you’re struggling with what to give everyone on your gift list this year, think about your local shops. Your local shops often have products that your big box stores won’t offer. These businesses often have handmade or locally-made products that are unique to that shop. When you are out doing your holiday shopping, consider stopping by local shops and purchasing some of your holiday gifts there.
Supporting small businesses throughout the year is important, but it is especially important during the holiday season. Many of these businesses receive most of their business during the holiday seasons, so a disruption like the coronavirus can really affect how many customers are shopping at their business, their cash flow, and ultimately the survival of the business. Think about your local businesses this holiday season, and shop local.