During these crazy times we all need each other’s support. Everyone is saying we should support our local restaurants, small businesses, independent artists, but when times are this uncertain, saving money is also a good idea. Maybe you don’t need art, or certain services at the moment, but you may need them in the future, and that’s why we want our local businesses to get through this lean period. So, how can you support all your favorite businesses without going broke?
• Follow your favorite businesses and artists on social media, and sign up for their e-newsletters. Do you love a picture they posted? Then like it, share it, comment on it. The more engagement a post has, the more likely other people will see it, and then the small business won’t have to spend as much on advertising to be seen.
• When you need to buy something, don’t just automatically go online to look for it, take a few seconds, and try to think of a local place that may have what you need. They already spent the time and money to get products delivered to their store, so give them a call, or go to their website and see if they have what you’re looking for, or maybe they can order it for you. Amazon will definitely survive through this, but isn’t it nice to have local brick-and-mortar stores around, in case you need something immediately?
• Post pictures of the food you are about to enjoy, or your favorite piece of art by an artist you follow. Tell people why you love what they do.
• If you can’t afford to spend money at every business you want to support, then tell your friends in real life about why you love a certain shop, or restaurant, and maybe they will try it for the first time. Attracting new customers is much more difficult than keeping existing ones.
• If you hear of an opportunity for artists, don’t assume that all artists know about it, forward that e-mail, or text the info directly to the artist. I have had several friends text me about opportunities that they thought are a good fit for me. Most of the time I find out about them eventually, but it’s nice to know that I am top-of-mind for some people, and I also appreciate having the extra few days head start on the application process.
• If you have a blog, or are a freelance writer, feature a small business in your next blog post, or article.
• Write a review on Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc.
What other ways can you think of to support your favorite businesses?
People say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to have a thriving local economy. We can get through this if we are creative about how we do it. Lastly, I want to thank my patrons who have continued to purchase my art online and in person. You make my art career possible!