How To Keep Supporting Your Local Small Businesses During COVID-19 (2023)

Money / Business

By Gabrielle Olya June 23, 2021

How To Keep Supporting Your Local Small Businesses During COVID-19 (2)

FG Trade / Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has put a huge strain on small business owners, many of whom have had to close their doors due to local restrictions. A Yelp report from September 2020 found that over 163,000 small businesses had closed at some point during the pandemic, with nearly 98,000 closing permanently. The hardest-hit businesses have been restaurants, followed by retailers, beauty salons and spas, bars and nightlife venues, and fitness studios.

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And although restrictions have loosened in many places, small businesses are still struggling after months of closures. A recent survey conducted by theFederal Reserve Bank found that 3 out of every 10 small businesses in the U.S. said they likely won’t survive 2021 without additional government assistance, CBS News reported. That amounts to nearly 9 million businesses at risk of closing. And while government aid will surely help, there are steps you can take as a consumer to help support your local small businesses during this trying time.

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Continue To Shop Local

“The easiest way for you to support small businesses during the pandemic is to buy from them, whether it’s something small or whether it’s on an ongoing basis,” saidCatherine Erdly, founder of The Resilient Retail Club, a retail management consulting firm that works with small businesses. “Thinking ‘local first’ is a great strategy — anytime you need to buy something, if you were planning on buying it online could you buy it locally instead. Every single penny counts at this difficult time, and that is the easiest and quickest way to make a difference to them.”

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If the business you want to support is currently closed, consider purchasing a gift card for later use.

Order Directly From Restaurants Rather Than a Third-Party Service

Although it’s convenient to order your takeout and delivery from third-party apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash, these companies take a share of the money you pay for your order.

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“For those who are patronizing restaurants, I would encourage them to order food directly by calling the restaurant instead of using any of the online delivery services,” said Chef Sean Andrade, owner of AWG Private Chefs, a boutique catering and private chef company in Northern California. “Most of these services take anywhere from 15-35% commission away from the restaurant, which in truth, results in zero net profit for the business.”

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Order Directly From a Small Business’ Website Instead of Amazon

Just as third-party delivery apps take a share of a restaurant’s profits, Amazon charges fees to its third-party sellers.

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“Ordering directly from [a company’s] website instead of Amazon is really supportive,” said Adam Kukoff co-founder and CEO of the emerging food brand, Nutsola. “The fees associated with Amazon are crazy high, and you don’t get any of the customer information to thank the customer or market new products [to them].”

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Buy Group Gifts From a Local Business

If you have a friend’s birthday, shower or other celebration coming up, consider pooling your friends together to buy a large gift from your favorite small business.

“It’s an effective tool because it allows people to 1) increase their purchasing power at small businesses by pooling funds and 2) helps advertise the business across a group of friends because when one person organizes a gift, they’re inviting 11-19 people on average to view the business and take part,” saidDalia Katan, founder of the virtual celebration platform Presently.

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Leave Positive Reviews

“The No. 1 thing the public can do to support small businesses they love is to leave a review on either Google Maps or the business’s Facebook page,” said Joe Youngblood, founder of Gain Local, a marketing services provider for small- to mid-sized businesses. “Both of these platforms are important for consumers looking for a new small business, and can help drive visibility in search results and in social circles. The reviews can have a lasting impact, helping new customers discover the small business on Google Maps, since Google uses reviews as part of their local ranking algorithm, and it can help users who view the business’s Facebook page decide to contact the small business years down the road.”

(Video) Tips to Support Small Business During COVID-19

Engage With the Business on Social Media

In addition to leaving reviews, liking and sharing social media posts can also make a big impact.

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“Support us on social media so that the algorithms show our content to people who are able to buy from us,” said Faith Heck, owner of the pet accessory company Black Dog & Co. “This includes liking and commenting on our Instagram posts. Sharing and saving are also huge now on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest.”

If you like a particular product or service from a small business, consider posting about it on your own social media accounts to help spread the word to your friends and followers.

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“For many companies, half the battle is getting people familiar with their business and products,” said Nishank Khanna, CMO at Clarify Capital, a small business lending firm. “Leveraging social media to spread awareness about local companies and small businesses helps resource-strapped organizations gain much-needed visibility. It’s a free and accessible way to help the little guy.”

Start or Contribute To a Crowdfund Supporting Your Favorite Business

“When there’s a drastic reduction in sales, having access to working capital can be the difference between keeping doors open and failing,” Khanna said. “Crowdfunding is an effective way to provide organizations with immediate access to cash. It’s a huge help to smaller companies that tend to have less access to financing products. There’s also a huge benefit to crowdfunding: it allows businesses to avoid increasing their debt load and cutting into future profits to repay borrowed funds and interest.”

Demand Support From Your Local Elected Officials

Small businesses, particularly newly formed businesses, are facing roadblocks when it comes to receiving the aid they need from both the federal and state government,said Will Lopez, head of accounting at Gusto, a payroll, benefits and HR platform for small businesses.

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(Video) How to support local businesses during COVID-19

“To unblock these restrictions, it’s going to take active lobbying to get aid to the folks who need it most,” Lopez said. “By calling your local elected officials today, you ensure your voice is heard while advocating on behalf of small businesses everywhere.”

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Last updated: June 9, 2021


How to manage your business during COVID? ›

To keep your company healthy during the coronavirus outbreak and positioned well for success when it's over, take advantage of these seven contingency and business planning tips.
  1. Put health and safety first. ...
  2. Assess the impact on operations. ...
  3. Reach out. ...
  4. Be ready to adapt. ...
  5. Evaluate your finances.

How can government help local businesses? ›

The government can use economic development programs to encourage growth in the state or region. It may provide tax incentive programs, grants, loans, and subsidies to companies interested in setting up a new business in the area to promote a business-friendly environment.

Why is supporting small business important? ›

By supporting a small business, you're also supporting the local community. Spending your money there helps to stimulate the local economy and keep business booming within your local region.

How can I protect my small business? ›

How To Protect Your Small Business From Lawsuits
  1. Create a Financial Plan.
  2. Hire an Attorney.
  3. Buy Small Business Insurance.
  4. Protect Your Business Data.
  5. Maintain and Protect Your Reputation.
  6. Separate Yourself From Your Business.
  7. Protect Your Employees.
  8. Protect Your Property.
Jun 10, 2022

Why is business strategy important during pandemic? ›

Considering the uncertainty and unprecedented challenges that this period presents, it is important for businesses to change how they operate and serve their customers. A shift in strategy will help businesses take better care of employees, satisfy customer needs, and enhance the company's financial health.

What are 3 ways that the government assist business? ›

To find out what services are available in your area, contact your state and local economic development offices and ask about business incentives in your area.
  • Economic Development Programs. ...
  • Loan Guarantee Programs. ...
  • Research and Development. ...
  • Infrastructure Improvement Funding. ...
  • Education and Training Programs.

What is the main way the government assists small businesses? ›

The Small Business Administration (SBA) helps small businesses get started and stay in business. The SBA allows people to create and run businesses by giving advice, giving them access to business and disaster loans, and helping them get contracts with the federal government.

Why small businesses are important to local communities? ›

They create job opportunities

Clearly, one of the most important ways small businesses benefit the community is by creating job growth and providing locals with job opportunities – an overall positive in terms of a healthy economy and a happy community.

What do you say when supporting a small business? ›

"I am so grateful for your support of my small business. Thank you for your continued support and loyalty. Your trust and loyalty in my brand has been invaluable and it has helped me to grow and thrive. Your patronage has been a huge factor in my success and I am forever grateful for it.

What does support your local mean? ›

It shows you care about your local community

The number one perk to consider, for obvious reasons, is that supporting local means that you care about the community that you live in. You'll be able to put money back into your community and the other people who call it home, too.

How can small businesses avoid failure? ›

You have to maintain good customer service. It becomes a strategy to avoid business failure. You have to be able to make sure your customers stay loyal to your product. For example, you could do this through a sales promotion or by offering a lucky draw.

How can small businesses avoid risk? ›

Tak's 10 Tips: How to Reduce Business Risk
  1. Create a business plan. ...
  2. Watch Your Cash Flow. ...
  3. Insurance against things going wrong. ...
  4. Contracts with partners, suppliers and employees. ...
  5. Business Structure. ...
  6. Protect Your Intellectual property. ...
  7. Reduce the impact of co-founder and boardroom disputes. ...
  8. Protect confidential information.
Sep 7, 2021

What are the 5 keys of business success? ›

As a reminder, the 5 Key Success Factors are:
  • Strategic Focus (Leadership, Management, Planning)
  • People (Personnel, Staff, Learning, Development)
  • Operations (Processes, Work)
  • Marketing (Customer Relations, Sales, Responsiveness)
  • Finances (Assets, Facilities, Equipment)
Apr 1, 2015

What are 5 key things to running a successful business? ›

With that in mind, here are five tips for running a successful business.
  • Start with the why. Every successful business has a reason for being in business. ...
  • Set appropriate goals. Your goals are essentially your definition of business success. ...
  • Create a written plan. ...
  • Keep reassessing your plan. ...
  • Delegate as much as you can.

What are the three most important things in business? ›

No matter how bold or ambitious your plans are to grow your business, the key to your business's success lies in three critical, interdependent components: operational excellence, customer relations/communications and financial management.

How can businesses recover from COVID? ›

Here are five steps to help you get started on your way to small business financial recovery.
  1. Assess the (financial) damage. ...
  2. Determine your obligations to adhere to new health and safety standards. ...
  3. Rework your budget and establish a realistic timeline for rebuilding. ...
  4. Consider if/how much funding you'll need to recover.

What did COVID-19 do to small businesses? ›

Across the full sample, 43% of businesses had temporarily closed, and nearly all of these closures were due to COVID-19. Respondents that had temporarily closed largely pointed to reductions in demand and employee health concerns as the reasons for closure, with disruptions in the supply chain being less of a factor.

How did the COVID pandemic affect business? ›

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic impacted the payroll of 45.3 percent of companies with employees. This breaks down to 39.2 percent having reduced the hours/benefits/pay of their employees, 5.9 percent increased the hours/benefits/pay of their employees, and 0.2 percent saw a different impact on their payroll.

What are some current business trends? ›

Whether you're a scrappy startup or part of a Fortune 500 company, here are the top business trends to know:
  • Generative AI Boosts Business Productivity. ...
  • E-commerce Growth Persists Post-Pandemic. ...
  • 5G Vastly Improves Data Collection and AI Capabilities. ...
  • Employees Actively Seek Out Remote and Hybrid Work.
Apr 26, 2023

What are four areas of social responsibility that may require the attention of business? ›

CSR initiatives are often broken down into four categories: environmental, philanthropic, ethical, and economic responsibility.

Which of the following is a reason for business failure? ›

The most common reasons small businesses fail include a lack of capital or funding, retaining an inadequate management team, a faulty infrastructure or business model, and unsuccessful marketing initiatives.

What are the four types of assistance that the Small Business Administration offers? ›

What we do
  • Access to capital. SBA provides an array of financing for small businesses. ...
  • Entrepreneurial development. SBA provides free counseling and low-cost training to new entrepreneurs and existing small businesses. ...
  • Government contracting. ...
  • Advocacy.

How do small businesses support the economy? ›

Independent businesses provide their local economies with new jobs, products, revenue, services and more. Charitable and innovative contributions - Small businesses not only contribute economic benefits to their community but also charitable and innovative ones as well.

What are five ways the government is involved in business? ›

Economists, however, identify six major functions of governments in market economies. Governments provide the legal and social framework, maintain competition, provide public goods and services, redistribute income, correct for externalities, and stabilize the economy.

Why is it better to support local businesses? ›

A local small business tends to make more local purchases, which requires less transportation (less pollution and congestion). Additionally, since they are set up in a town or city, it will generally reduce traffic, habitat loss and resource depletion.

How can a business support the local community? ›

Local businesses also tend to support one another through volunteer work, donations, participation in community activities, and simply by shopping at each other's businesses. There's a sense of pride in being part of a community and providing quality products and services for the betterment of its residents.

What are the 8 advantages of small businesses? ›

Advantages of Small-Business Ownership
  • Independence. Entrepreneurs are their own bosses. ...
  • Financial gain. Entrepreneurship offers a greater possibility of achieving significant financial rewards than working for someone else. ...
  • Control. ...
  • Prestige. ...
  • Equity. ...
  • Opportunity.

How do you support business growth? ›

Although growing your small business will take time and energy, there are 10 strategies you can use to help accelerate business growth.
  1. Do Your Research. ...
  2. Build a Sales Funnel. ...
  3. Increase Customer Retention. ...
  4. Participate in Networking Events. ...
  5. Practice Corporate Social Responsibility. ...
  6. Form Strategic Partnerships.

What is a quote about supporting local businesses? ›

Independent businesses are the lifeline of every community.” “Authenticity and hustle – that's why you should support independent businesses.” “Buy Local or Bye Bye Local.” “You can't buy Happiness but you can Buy Local and that's kind of the same thing.”

What is the most important part of a small business? ›

Marketing plan

The number one issue for small businesses is reaching new customers. For many business owners, this is the most important section, and much time is devoted to developing it. For without demand, there are no sales.

What makes small business effective? ›

Successful small businesses are customer-focused, which means they understand the needs of their current customer bases. Satisfied customers can drive profits through repeat business and referrals.

What are the three most important advantages of own business? ›

The pros of starting a business
  • Being your own boss. When you start a business and are self-employed, you are your own boss and ultimately control your own destiny. ...
  • Personal fulfillment. ...
  • Financial rewards. ...
  • Flexible hours. ...
  • Following your passion.

What is an example of local support? ›

Local support means funds from tax sources, gifts, endowments, penal fines, or other funds received from local sources, excluding state and federal aid as stated in this act.

Why do people want to support local? ›

When you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base.

How do you save a struggling small business? ›

10 things you should do to save a failing business
  1. Change your mindset. ...
  2. Perform a SWOT analysis. ...
  3. Understand your target market and ideal client. ...
  4. Set SMART objectives and create a plan. ...
  5. Reduce costs and prioritize what you pay. ...
  6. Manage your cash flow. ...
  7. Talk to creditors, don't ignore them. ...
  8. Organize your business.

What are two reasons why a small business might fail? ›

The top 10 reasons small businesses fail – and how to avoid them
  • Lack of research. ...
  • Not having a business plan. ...
  • Not having the business funding they need. ...
  • Financial mismanagement. ...
  • Poor marketing. ...
  • Not keeping abreast of customer needs or the competition. ...
  • Failing to adapt. ...
  • Growing too quickly.
Jul 6, 2021

What are the top 10 reasons businesses fail? ›

Let's explore the top 10 reasons why businesses fail – plus one important bonus tip.
  • Complacency. ...
  • Not prioritizing sustainability. ...
  • Not putting customers first. ...
  • Not relentlessly innovating. ...
  • Not thinking of themselves as tech companies. ...
  • Not treating data as a key business asset. ...
  • Failing to attract and keep talent.
Aug 29, 2022

What are the five ways to reduce risk? ›

BLOGFive Steps to Reduce Risk
  • Step One: Identify all of the potential risks. (Including the risk of non-action). ...
  • Step Two: Probability and Impact. What is the likelihood that the risk will occur? ...
  • Step Three: Mitigation strategies. ...
  • Step Four: Monitoring. ...
  • Step Five: Disaster planning.

What is happening to businesses during the coronavirus? ›

In 2020, 6.0 percent of companies canceled, 9.7 percent postponed, 8.2 percent decreased, and 1.5 increased some of their budgeted capital expenditures during the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 1.7 percent of companies introduced new unbudgeted capital expenditures.

What has Covid 19 done to small businesses? ›

Across the full sample, 43% of businesses had temporarily closed, and nearly all of these closures were due to COVID-19. Respondents that had temporarily closed largely pointed to reductions in demand and employee health concerns as the reasons for closure, with disruptions in the supply chain being less of a factor.

How businesses are changing due to COVID 19? ›

Many businesses across the country saw their supply chains interrupted, demand for their products and services decline, shortages in supplies and inputs, and government-mandated closures. At the same time, the federal government implemented programs designed to help keep employees on payrolls.

What businesses were most affected by COVID? ›

Among key industries, accommodation and food services (including hotels, restaurants, and similar businesses), retail, and manufacturing were proportionately hardest hit by job losses since the start of the pandemic, while healthcare was impacted least.

What are some of the problems facing businesses today? ›

Business challenges
  • Maintaining quality customer relationships.
  • Meeting customer needs.
  • Preserving a good reputation.
  • Retaining employees.
  • Finding an effective brand.
  • Marketing in a saturated marketplace.
Mar 10, 2023

How do small businesses affect the economy? ›

Independent businesses provide their local economies with new jobs, products, revenue, services and more. Charitable and innovative contributions - Small businesses not only contribute economic benefits to their community but also charitable and innovative ones as well.

What are the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises? ›

Some of these include inflation, cost of raw materials, insurance costs, low demand for products and services, and other general business costs. As many industries recover from the effect of the pandemic, the costs of doing business and maintaining profitability are major concerns.

How can a small business survive an economic crisis? ›

  1. What is a recession? ...
  2. Seven Survival Tips For A Recession.
  3. Manage your cash flow. ...
  4. Get a handle on your costs. ...
  5. Protect your revenue. ...
  6. Be smart about debt management and new financing. ...
  7. Strengthen your cash reserves. ...
  8. Stay on top of your receivables.
Sep 1, 2022

What is a recovery strategy? ›

Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum acceptable level following a business disruption and are prioritized by the recovery time objectives (RTO) developed during the business impact analysis.

How does the process of small business begin? ›

  • Conduct market research. Market research will tell you if there's an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. ...
  • Write your business plan. ...
  • Fund your business. ...
  • Pick your business location. ...
  • Choose a business structure. ...
  • Choose your business name. ...
  • Register your business. ...
  • Get federal and state tax IDs.

What businesses benefited from COVID? ›

As far as what companies benefit from the coronavirus, examples include essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies who remained open to serve customers throughout the pandemic. These businesses have not experienced the financial hardships others have.

How the COVID-19 pandemic can stimulate more radical business process improvements? ›

While drastic process changes normally tend to fail or are challenged by employee resistance, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced this impediment so that organizations actually experience how alternative (i.e., more simple and digitalized) working alternatives can look like.


1. Pandemic creates push to support local, small businesses
(CBC News: The National)
2. Supporting small business during the COVID-19 pandemic: there's an app for that!
(WKYC Channel 3)
3. Support Your Local Businesses During COVID-19
(Ivan Estrada Properties)
4. How can small businesses survive during the coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine
5. COVID-19: How to support local business during Coronavirus
(No Nonsense Whisky)
6. COVID 19 & Main Street: Supporting Local Safely
(Main Street America)


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