7 Easy and Free Ways to Support Small Businesses

Small businesses not only give our communities flavor and flair, but they also contribute to our local economy’s bottom line. For every $100 you spend at a local spot, $68 stays right in the neighborhood. That money helps create jobs for people around town and is often used by those businesses to purchase supplies from other local companies. But if you spend that $100 at a big-box store, only $43 sticks around.

Want another reason to support local businesses? A lively strip of local shops and cafes helps increase the worth of everyone’s homes. It makes your neighborhood a place where people want to be, and that’s good for property values. If local gems start disappearing, a dip in property values and the loss of unique community spirit often follow.

While supporting local businesses is important, so is managing your own finances. Maybe you’re short on cash or your rainy day fund is running dry. So, it’s natural to wonder, “Should I be supporting local businesses or saving every cent?”

Here’s the good news – you don’t need to empty your wallet to keep the love flowing for your favorite spots. There are plenty of ways to lift them up without spending a penny.

7 Free Ways to Support Small Businesses

Every gesture, big or small, can make a significant difference. Here are seven inexpensive yet impactful ways you can show some love to small businesses.

1. Subscribe and Follow

Hop on the newsletters or mailing lists of your local favorites. When you sign up for updates, you’re letting your favorite local business know that you’re interested and want to learn more. You can also follow them on their social channels to stay in the loop with their latest happenings and deals.

2. Interact Online

Don’t just scroll past; engage! When you like, share, comment, or retweet a post from a local business, you’re giving them a boost in online credibility. Remember, with tighter budgets due to inflation, businesses have less to spend on ads. So, your share can be their spotlight. Even something as quick as an Instagram story shoutout can help!

3. Leave a Review

Had an awesome experience? Shout it out online! Drop that review on Google, Yelp, or Facebook. Especially for the new kids on the block without many reviews, your positive feedback is like gold. The best part? Reviews don’t cost you a thing but can mean everything to a local small business.

4. Spread the Word

Chat about the amazing local spots you love. Word-of-mouth is old school, but it’s still golden. Tell your friends, your family, and especially that chatty colleague about the cool places you’ve discovered. One recommendation can trigger a cascade of new customers if your friends and family do the same.

5. Book and Reserve – and Keep It!

Prebooking an appointment is extremely helpful for service-based businesses. More importantly, if you make a reservation or appointment, stick to it. It helps businesses strategize and serve efficiently. Missed bookings can be disruptive and costly for a local shop. So, let’s avoid the no-show blues.

6. Be Patient

Remember, small businesses might not have the battalion of resources that big brands do. They might be short-staffed, particularly during the holiday shopping rush. Show a little patience and understanding, recognizing the unique challenges these businesses face.

7. Check In With Workers and Say Thank You

Kindness doesn’t have a price tag. A genuine “thanks” or just asking “how’s it going?” can really brighten the day for the hardworking folks at our favorite local spots. Remember, small businesses provide jobs and services that support and enrich the community. Let’s show them some much-deserved love!

Shopping Local

Whenever possible, consider purchasing essential items from local businesses. You don’t need to spend a ton of cash to give a local business a boost.

Making a Difference. Keep championing your favorite local spots and encourage others to do the same. You can make a real difference in the community. If you need help building your savings or managing your finances, reach out to another community resource – People’s Credit Union.

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