How to Support Rural Businesses in a Pandemic
You only need to open your social media feed to see how businesses, especially smaller, family-owned ones are struggling. Such businesses, particularly those in rural areas, need all the support they can get; they are the life force of the towns in which they operate.
You can do your part to keep small businesses afloat by following some of our suggestions.
Use Social Media
By following your favourite local stores on social media, you can stay abreast of promotions or new product offerings. Even if you may not purchase them yourself, you are helping to grow their online audience, and you can share their posts with your friends, who in turn might support the business. Make use of #shoutouts and leave useful reviews for other potential buyers.
If you know of friends that could make use of certain products or materials offered by your local business, tag them with a suggestion to get in touch. Many business owners will arrange for delivery to new buyers.
Pay Now, Use Later
Given the current situation in which the world finds itself, many small businesses have opted to waive the expiry dates on their gift vouchers. Next time you’re in the market for a gift for a friend, buy a voucher from your local store which can be redeemed at a later date. It not only gives the receiver something to look forward to but also affords them the opportunity to get themselves something they really want or need.
Image by Gpoint Studio
Be Present and Get Involved
You may not be a business owner yourself, but you can be present at events where goods made and sold within your community are showcased. Visit local fairs or school events and buy something. If you’re unable to spend money, get involved another way, such as assisting with the organisation of the event itself.
In certain circumstances, some business owners have had to let some of their staff members go because they cannot afford the expense of a salary. This means that they must do more, if not all, the work themselves. It’s stressful on a number of levels. If you are in a fortunate position to still have an income, why not volunteer an hour or two of your time, allowing the business owner a break, or speak to rural industry experts, like Mark Lumsdon Taylor, who can facilitate support for businesses in need.
Avoid Quarrelling Over the Price
Small businesses need your support now more than ever; every penny counts. While many businesses may be offering discounts to increase their sales, declining a reduction and paying the asking price is a simple way of helping a business to weather difficult times.
In closing, an important thing to remember during this pandemic is that we’re all in the same storm. We need to help where we can, with what we have, and support our local peers. They’re not only neighbours but friends.