Big Help for Small Businesses

Small businesses have been struggling recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting poor economy. Here are three ways that you can help out.

Carsten Oyer, Columnist

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has hit our small businesses hard. According to a survey cited by NBC News, 87% of small businesses have struggled due to the pandemic. What’s more, 22% of all small business owners were forced to close their doors between February and April, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The situation has left many people wondering what they can do to help small businesses during these tough times. Here are three ways that you can aid independent shops right now.

Promote Your Favorites

One way you can easily help small businesses is by promoting them. NBC News states that giving a small business a shout-out on social media can increase customer traffic and engagement. Also, leaving positive reviews on platforms such as Yelp or Google can direct new people to check out the business and improve the owners’ morale. You can always refer a friend, too, states Seek Capital. Plus, this is all free, and can easily be done from your couch.

Try Something New

A lot of people have been feeling a bit bored without anything to do during quarantine. Shopify has a solution that will keep you excited while also sustaining small businesses: try something new! You can try a new hobby, get into self-care, become your home’s personal chef or barista, and so much more. While you’re doing it, shop at the independent stores selling whatever you need. You need something to do, and the business needs support. It’s a win-win.

Continue Shopping, Just Online

Don’t want to leave the house but still need to shop? Instead of risking your health and the health of those around you, just shop online. Seek Capital says that just buying from local businesses online can help a lot. Make sure, though, that you’re buying directly from the businesses themselves; third-party websites like eBay or Amazon take a percentage of the sale price for themselves. NBC News writes that you can always buy special products made for at-home use, such as DIY salon kits, which can also help bust boredom.

Even if you can’t contribute in these ways, that’s okay. Small business owners will appreciate any help they can get. Reaching out to a business owner to offer support is a great way to gauge what they need, and can show that you care even if you can’t help them out. So far, we’ve prioritized protecting those most vulnerable to this disease—now, it’s time that we help out our most financially vulnerable: small businesses.