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Supporting local (small) businesses in your community - any time, not just during a crisis

 
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The current virus crisis has been hard on small businesses - many have closed their doors permanently.



I think this could be similar around the world - even more so in more remote regions - not just the U.S.

Though dedicated community members are getting incredibly creative in finding ways to support their trusted, favorite, local businesses, farms, vendors, creators, and service providers.

Think about it, do you only want big box or generic chain businesses left after all this (or a major flood, or a fire, or whatever) blows over?

From discussions in other places, these were some ideas on how to help.

Voting with your dollars:
  • musicians or performers who have cancelled concerts - buy their album, CD, or DVD, or support them on Patreon
  • restaurants or stores / shops - order online for delivery or takeout (Doordash, instacart, etc. make this easy!)
  • restaurants - buy a gift card to use two months down the road
  • order from a local business online or by phone instead of Amazon or a big box retailer
  • order coffee from a local coffee roaster or local coffee shop
  • get produce or other foods from local growers - look for online options and/or farm stand options
  • buy through affiliate links of your favorite people, places, and content creators. For example, if someone has an Amazon affiliate link, you don't have to buy that thing, but if you order ANYTHING through that link, they still get a kickback at no extra cost to you!

  • Non-monetary support:
  • remember to like, share, and comment on any business feeds in your social media. This helps a LOT.
  • create a thread on permies.com or blog about your favorite businesses
  • send them a card or e-mail or letter of appreciation and support
  • volunteer to help with something remotely, such as social media posting, or data crunching, or proof-reading new content, or....

  • What other ideas or examples do you have on how to support local business(es) in times of crisis?

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    steward
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    Here's a good one:



     
    master steward
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    Jocelyn, thank you for sharing this.

    I live too far from the towns in my area so I cannot help.

    What I decided to do is to show my support was to subscribe to the local newspapers.  It is not much though they are trying to keep people informed on locale happens.

    These communities did pull together to help keep the school children with meals and to keep meals on wheels going.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Anne Miller wrote:Jocelyn, thank you for sharing this.

    I live too far from the towns in my area so I cannot help.

    What I decided to do is to show my support was to subscribe to the local newspapers.  It is not much though they are trying to keep people informed on locale happens.

    These communities did pull together to help keep the school children with meals and to keep meals on wheels going.


    You're welcome, of course!

    I think even those who live far away from town could find one thing, whether it's coffee, jam or jelly, or a hand-sewn thing, and order online from a local maker. Even if it costs a tiny bit more, if you're able to just buy one thing locally, ideally on a regular basis, instead of from a big box store or the grocery store, that's something!

    The local newspaper is a great idea!

    Very neat about meals for school children who depend on meals at school and the meals on wheels. I love hearing those stories!


     
    pollinator
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    If they don't do business online, maybe encourage them to, and if you can, point them the way or help them get started. I think this will be more and more important as time goes by.

    I am taking mental notes about businesses in the area. I am remembering the ones who choose to help people and stay open. I will be patronizing them more in the future than I have in the past. Ones that are taking advantage of people, not so much. I like my money to go to good people.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Jordan Holland wrote:If they don't do business online, maybe encourage them to, and if you can, point them the way or help them get started. I think this will be more and more important as time goes by.

    I am taking mental notes about businesses in the area. I am remembering the ones who choose to help people and stay open. I will be patronizing them more in the future than I have in the past. Ones that are taking advantage of people, not so much. I like my money to go to good people.


    I like both of these thoughts!

    When I was in Missoula earlier this year, and the health department didn't allow the farmers market to open fully, the market pulled together an online ordering system where you *could* order items from market vendors who weren't allowed to have a stand at the market yet. If some of those systems continue, and you might be making a trip to town for a market, check to see if you can order for pickup at the market. It was really a slick deal.

    Also, I'm not sure how many areas this service might be in around the U.S., but this is like the Etsy for FOOD:  https://www.barn2door.com/buy-food.

    Way cool, if you ask me. I think it's far easier to add your own listings to an existing system like a farmers market online store, Barn2Door, or Etsy, etc. than to create your own online web store. So that might be a great way to encourage someone to list their stuff online.


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