How to Support Your Local Businesses Online?
Social distancing is surely taking a toll on our everyday activities. Obviously, our dining, shopping and working habits have changed due to several businesses closing their doors. However, what's more important is the economical effects starting to influence businesses that are on the edge of closing their doors for good. In these times, our collective consumer voice is more crucial than ever. So, before panic-purchasing hand sanitizers from Amazon or killing time by browsing new loungewear items from huge corporate retail brands, let's take a second to see what other options we have. Plus, due to the globalized nature of the virus, now is the best time to start looking into the local produce and shop accordingly.
So, what we can do? Support local businesses by shopping online and advocating for them via social media.
Why shop locally?
In short – it supports the regional economy; enhances the socio-economic situation and provides a better shopping experience.
The cycle from production to consumption involves many actors that either generate a positive or a negative socio-economic environment for the country and its inhabitants. If production of goods and services takes place in another country, then the economic growth generates elsewhere.
For instance, Amazon – their service for selling a wide range of goods cashes in billions of dollars from which they pay taxes that goes to the local community of their location, in this case – Seattle, Washington, USA. In comparison, if you were to buy sneakers from a local store instead of Amazon, your money would stay in your community.
So, what do we get out of supporting local businesses?
Besides feeling like a good citizen, there is much more that your consumer voice contributes to.
By supporting regional businesses, you are generally supporting your community. The higher the revenue of the business you support – the higher taxes they pay to your country or region, which includes the local property taxes. Further, these taxes finance state's institutions – schools, police departments, hospitals, etc. Also, local businesses create new jobs which decreases the unemployment rates. And overall, the customer service and dedication to a client most times is more careful and personal.
Plus, in these times, there is no better feeling than knowing where your goods come from!
How to support your local businesses?
There are plenty of local businesses that have just what you are looking for – from fresh bread and fruits until unique sneakers and decorative interior items.
Since staying home is the deal for now – businesses are finding new, creative ways to ensure you can get their goods or services without leaving your home. However, even if you are not in need of these goods but are generally interested in the business or produce, you can showcase your interest and support them via social media platforms.
Your favorite coffee place is closed?
Check their website or Facebook page. Most bakeries, cafes, boulangeries and other coffee or tea places now offer gift cards on their website that you can purchase and use when the social distancing measures are lifted and businesses will safely open their doors. Also, different local coffee places or bakeries offer to order their coffee beans or other products to your doors. This way, you don't need to go out of the house to get a fresh pack of coffee beans or coffee capsules. Plus, what a better time to finally start practicing your own barista skills?
Also, show support by following their social media accounts. A lot of cafes have an aesthetically pleasing social media presence.
Petit by Sam – a cozy, local pastry shop with exquisite aesthetics.
No more yoga classes?
Not true! Many yoga or fitness classes are now offered online. Plus, almost all of them are offered for free, either on Instagram live stream or they are pre-recorded on Youtube. Take a look at your local yoga or fitness studio's website and/or Instagram. By participating in their classes you will support their business by letting them know you are still involved and interested in their classes.
Yagoy yoga studio provides live stream classes for everyone to participate in.
Tired of going to the grocery store every day?
Who isn't. So, what better way to support local produce AND not have the germ-anxiety at the grocery store by ordering fresh, sustainable and local produce in a subscription-box form? Preserve (PT), The Karma Box (NL), Farmed Today (NL)orSupport Your Locals (NL) are one of the many services offering to support your local businesses by ordering a box of goods made fresh in your area. Plus, most of them also support sustainable delivery options, so, a warm loaf of bread from your favorite bakery will be at your doorstep delivered by an E-Bakkie.
Support Your Locals (NL) offers varieties of products from regional, small businesses.
Yes, probably the top one clothing category in everyone's shopping list. Since clothing stores are closed in most countries that are affected by the coronavirus, shopping online is the way. And, no better way to try something new and sustainable by looking into local clothing brands. It's no secret that fast fashion comes with high environmental risks and poor working conditions for the clothing manufacturers. For that reason alone it's worth looking up your local boutiques, concept stores or brands for unique products.
Catwalk Junkie, a clothing brand located in Amsterdam carries the definition of comfortable clothing in their collections.
For the creatives?
We must say that these troubling times calls for creative alternatives and adjustments to our lifestyle, which, honestly, are not that easy to do. To find out how to recreate certain routines and activities at home, look up blogs and writers that are from your country or region. Seek insightful perspectives and useful tips on how to go through this unique and troubling time. And of course, you can show support them by following their social media channels and engaging with their content.
Your Little Black Book is a lifestyle blog, whose author Anne de Buck shares her personal tips, reviews and experiences which make up her life in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Since everything now takes place online, supporting your local businesses via social media or directly purchasing their goods online is a great way to contribute to your community in a positive way. Plus, discovering new, local brands is the worthwhile activity while cooped up inside. Nevertheless, there are some questions regarding the safety of online shopping based on the spread of the virus and other common issues that may occur. To prevent all misinformation and troubles, look into our upcoming post on the tips on having a safe online shopping experience.