There is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone differently and people all around the globe have been impacted by this deadly outbreak.
This blog post is all about supporting independent and small businesses through this pandemic. My own small business has been directly affected by Covid-19, and with the U.K government still processing self employment help, I wanted to write about how my readers could support others.
Local businesses are essential for our economy. They bring growth and innovation to our communities and they provide employment and create entrepreneurship opportunities. Before I mention specific types of business that need support, I wanted to highlight a few key things:
Shop locally – small businesses in particular need locals to support them.
Big corporations have a larger bank balance meaning they can survive for longer. Small businesses might not have that safety net. If you need a grocery shop then consider a local business instead of waiting in line for the supermarket. Delis, specialist food shops, pet shops and bakeries need you!
Leave good reviews
Hospitality and tourism industries in particular rely on online reviews on platforms like Tripadvisor, Facebook and Airbnb. They are important for creating new business leads. If you have the time, leave a positive review for prospective customers to read. Enjoyed that Chinese takeaway from your local recently?
WRITE A REVIEW.
Reschedule instead of cancelling
The tag line “postpone, don’t cancel” has been around for a few months now and for good reason. If we business owners are to survive the rest of the year it is hugely beneficial to have a collection of clients lined up to keep us going.
Before you cancel, talk to the business and find out your options. Some establishments will also offer a gift card, get your Christmas shopping early and purchase one.
Here are some other suggestions on how to help local businesses:
If you can afford to, order takeout or delivery from your favourite local establishments. They may not have the normal shop front, but they may still offer a home delivery service. It’s always good to follow local restaurants on social media for regular updates. Sharing their menu online also helps them to gain customers.
Many independently owned food and drink businesses are now getting on to delivery platforms like Uber Eats, and Deliveroo but if you cannot see your favourite outlet listed, give them a call to see if they will consider delivering a meal or selling the ingredients to make something yourself. It benefits them more if you can order directly from them so that they can receive 100% of the profit (food delivery platforms take a small percentage).
One of my favourite coffee shops @artisancoffee_edinbugh have takeaway available!
If you are missing the gym, look online!
Fitness instructors and yoga teachers are heading online! Many business owners are now streaming sessions online so that people who are social distancing or self-isolating can join from home. One particular fitness guru – @frankielegge has positive online workouts throughout the week and they are pre organised so you can schedule the time to join in live with her.
By watching online streams you can get a taste of their work out style and join them in real life once this is all over. Get up and move and follow along!
Support the crafters!
Some innovative crafters are turning their skills into making facemasks to help with the pandemic, support them by purchasing a handmade item that you will definitely need! Don’t purchase medical face masks, reserve them for the medics – instead you can purchase a unique facemask with a pretty pattern.
One talented crafter- The Orange Corner has a variety of cute patterns on offer.
Support the tourism industry
One of the first industries to be affected by the coronavirus was the tourism sector. With no international travel, the disruptions to business have been immense.
My own business provides walking tours in Edinburgh but, because I can’t physically go out and tour, I have joined up with Voicemap to create an audio walking tour. If you are a Harry Potter fan, then you can purchase my tour and sit back and listen to stories of the most famous wizard, author JK Rowling and some Edinburgh history too.
Because we can all do with a giggle just now, another Edinburgh based tourguide you can support from the comfort of your sofa is Mountebank Tours – a comedy walking tour led by a professional stand up comedian. The emphasis of the tour is based around the hysterical and the historical – a great combo!
One way you can support him from your home is to subscribe to his Youtube channel and contribute to the project via Buy me a Coffee.
Support the musicians!
The world of music is also struggling. Festivals and concert tours have been cancelled and music & vinyl shops are also facing financial hardship. There are a few ways you can support this industry:
- Buy merchandise – t-shirts, vinyls, CD’s, phone covers etc is a good way to show your support. Check your favourite bands online store now. They may even have their own crowdfunding page!
- Pre-order albums. Go shopping online and pre-order an up and coming album. Purchasing it in advance can help with cash flow. Check their website or iTunes for the release details.
- Buy a “virtual pint” and support a local music venue. The Music Venue Trust have set up a system where half the money raised will go directly to helping out small venues across the UK.
Now is the time for us to give them some love and support, so that when COVID-19 is eventually behind us, they will still be there for us for that next event, team sponsorship!
Stay safe guys,