In 1963, President John F. Kennedy established Small Business Week. This event celebrates the people who encapsulate the American Dream by owning their own businesses, serving their communities and bringing people together.
Small business owners contribute a tremendous amount not only to their locales but the nation as a whole. Small businesses provide two out of every three new jobs in the U.S., and they’re responsible for paving the equal, economical and sustainable future of the country.
You can support your local businesses in many ways, but start with these four easy suggestions!
1. Choose Family-Owned Establishments First
Check online for local businesses in your zip code and read their websites. Usually, you’ll be able to tell right off the bat whether a restaurant or store is owned by a family, like AMPG. Family-owned small businesses are usually pretty proud of staying family-owned so finding this info shouldn’t take long. Avoid department stores and corporations like Target, Walmart, and TJ Maxx, and opt for local boutiques, farmer’s markets, and mom-and-pop shops.
2. Leave Positive Reviews Online
Yelp and Google reviews help businesses build credibility and appear more frequently in search engines. When you leave a positive review, you help a business feel appreciated and help attract new customers. Here are a few points you might want to touch on in your review:
- Mention how welcoming or inviting the atmosphere is
- Compliment the staff and examples of positive exchanges
- Recommend your favorite menu items or products
- Enthuse about good prices, diverse selections, and quality
3. Recommend Friends and Family
Let your loved ones know about good experiences you have at local businesses, and post about your favorites online. Share your favorite business’ Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter and suggest them to people you know. Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool, especially for small businesses.
4. Design Freebies
If you have any design skills, offer to revamp an outdated or underwhelming website for free. Not only will this help a local business, but you’ll also have a new site to add to your portfolio.
You could also offer to design posters, business cards or other advertising material to help draw in new customers.
5. Shopping Small Makes a Big Mark
When you support local businesses, you help your community and the town’s economy. You contribute to less waste and make a greater impact on people’s lives. The purchases you make directly influence the staff and business owners, and the more frequently you contribute to a business’ patronage, the bigger the budget they have to improve. This will give you more satisfaction in your life and help you feel like you’re making a difference. Being involved in the community can greatly increase your quality of living.
Supporting local businesses also helps you establish good connections with the people in your community. In the digital era, it’s hard to get to know new people, so head out to a small shop, put down your phone and don’t be afraid to ask, “How are you?” Help communities get back to their roots by becoming more involved and being an example.
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