support local business when and how

Supporting Local Businesses: Why and How?

Every year, many of us feel the pressures and financial strain of the holiday seasons. Over the last couple of years, this has only increased with the added stress of the pandemic, job insecurity, and other outside factors that have made finances tight and made a lot of us hold onto our loose change. For those that have been keeping both their family and small business running, there’s an added pressure during the holiday season. This year more than ever we’ve wanted to focus on ways to support local businesses, and ways that our communities can pull together to ensure everyone is taken care of. We’ve written many articles from lists where small businesses can post their business, to specific ways we can make a difference in helping locally owned businesses.

With the holiday season here and the spirit of giving upon us, we wanted to offer up a different article and explain the benefits of supporting small businesses. We’ve provided many ways you can do so, and ways that a community can step in and be helpful, however, there are many reasons to support local business and why it’s still important even after the waves of the pandemic and holidays have settled. Below, you’ll read four reasons to support locally owned businesses and the benefits that come with the small actions. 

1. Local businesses are more environmentally friendly

Because locally owned businesses tend to source from other locally owned businesses like farms, chains, and other supply stores, they tend to have a smaller impact on the environment. Locally-sourced materials such as meat, produce, and supply usually have less packaging since they’re coming right from the source; which ultimately leads to more recyclable materials being used, or less trash being thrown away. Locally-sourced materials also require less travel time, cutting down on gas and energy used to transport. Because of this, when you support local businesses, you support environmentally friendly businesses and changes, which everyone is happy about.

2. They offer higher quality work

It’s very easy to head to the nearest department store or national chain for the gifts you’re looking for or for the holiday meal prep you’ve been waiting all year for. However, it’s always possible that the quality of the object or the customer service you receive may not be the best. When you support local businesses and shop locally, you tend to receive a higher quality of work and a higher quality of customer service. Typically this is because small businesses are rooted in their community. They support those that both live and work within their town or city and therefore have more at stake and more of a reason to provide quality work. Their work is their reputation, and maintaining it is a huge responsibility that is solely on their shoulders, so usually from the quality of work to the employees, you receive a better quality of service.

3. They support job and economic growth

Even though small businesses may not seem like they’re able to employ a lot of people at once, according to mass.gov “Small businesses employ 77 million Americans and accounted for 65% of all new jobs over the past 17 years.” which is a significant number especially during these hard times. When we ask ‘why shop local?’ or question the importance of supporting locally owned businesses and brands, this is one of the main reasons, it provides people with jobs and stability that they need for their own families. There’s also the trickle effect when it comes to supporting local businesses, where what you give, is put back into the community. Local shop owners also tend to support each other, which leads to a lot of local economic growth and wealth because the money isn’t going to an outside business or operation. The community continues to benefit financially because of the constant flow of local consumerism which is great especially for small towns and cities. 

4. It’s just the right thing to do.

When it comes down to it, supporting your community and local business owners is just the right thing to do; plain and simple. Caring about your community and doing your best to lift them up during hard times, or just in general, is an act of kindness that can seem so small but goes a long way. When we give back to our community, we make it safer, and easier to live for those around us. 
At the end of the day whether you’re buying a gift card, going into the store, visiting their online website, or even ordering takeout, the ways you support local businesses matter just as much as why you should support them. We hope that this holiday season you’ll continue to spread love and support one another, and we’ll be happy to provide tips and tricks along the way!

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7 Reasons Why It’s Beneficial to Support Local Businesses

Talking about supporting local businesses has been a topic of interest for a while. The interest-only increased when the pandemic fully hit in 2020, causing businesses to close, or others start to fail while we were in quarantine. It’s very easy to go to a larger chain for your supplies, especially in difficult time periods because you know what to expect, you know they have the support to mostly keep their shelves stocked, or you know if you need a midnight snack fix they’ll probably be open. So why shop locally? Why support local businesses?

The benefits of shopping locally become a chain of events that ultimately comes back around in a positive way. Below, you’ll read about seven reasons why you should support local businesses, and how it benefits the community. 

1. Supporting local businesses helps support local economy

Local businesses are more prominent in our communities than we realize, because of this the benefits of supporting small businesses owners are also more powerful than we think. When we support local businesses, we also support local banks, phone and internet providers, or even local grocers and farmers. This is because locally owned businesses are more likely to work with other local chains or businesses, the revenue given to them flows back into the community, strengthening the economy. 

2. Local businesses are more likely to support local organizations

When small businesses or local organizations support each other, they grow together and are able to accomplish their goals or meet the needs of their community easier. Supporting small means supporting not just their family or their business, but it also means supporting local non-profits like food programs, shelters, or programs that help other families. Going back to the first reason why you should support local businesses, the support given to the small businesses flows back into the community and ultimately helps everyone. 

3. Typically small businesses have a smaller carbon footprint

Supporting a local or small business is also better for the environment! Small businesses tend to have a smaller carbon footprint in comparison to larger or national businesses. This is again because they tend to source directly from their community on the items they can. Usually, when you source locally you’re less likely to produce more waste either in the air or packaging for shipping, which directly helps the environment by lowering trash and allowing items to be recycled. 

4. They could be your neighbors

Caring for your neighborhood is one of the first ways you can support your local community. Especially in these hard times, looking out for each other is important and if your neighbor has a business, supporting them only supports their family, their children, and ultimately you! When we care for one another we show respect towards each other and our community, which helps it grow and become a place of safety. It fosters a sense of pride and a sense of ownership that encourages others to continue supporting each other.

5. Local businesses help support job growth

Supporting local businesses supports job growth! According to mass.gov “Small businesses employ 77 million Americans and accounted for 65% of all new jobs over the past 17 years.” Local economic growth is something we don’t necessarily think about, but it’s important. It helps schools gain funding, recreational programs continue, and it helps others stay employed. When we continue to support local businesses and our local community, we find that the impact is lasting. They’re able to grow and hire more people or pay their current employees more which will only contribute back to the growth of the community.

6. Small businesses tend to have higher-quality services

Small businesses are active members of the community, so they have a reputation to uphold. Whether it’s quality items, good food, or any other fantastic selling point, they have to stay true to how they started to keep their current customers and gain new ones. They rely on community support to keep their business open and to continue living their dream. So quality and standards are important for their businesses, which means their customers are getting more for what they’re paying for. When you continue to shop local you continue allowing small business owners to keep providing that quality the community has grown used to and allows them to uphold a reputation they’ve worked hard for. 

7. Supporting each other is important.

In the end, you can boil down the benefits of supporting local business into one point; it supports your community. Regardless of if the small business owner is your neighbor, they’re helping employment rates or donating to organizations, you should support local and small businesses because you should care about your community. The benefit and betterment of others are what create a space where others feel safe and thrive, and being able to be a part of that is rewarding enough. 

If there’s a local business you enjoy, or maybe a local restaurant you have tried yet, we definitely encourage you to give it a shot! Or, with the holiday seasons upon us, you can try buying a gift card or even donating to a local cause. No matter how you choose to support big or small, your continued business is important to small business owners and your community. 

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Best Methods For Using Google Maps to Support Local Businesses

There’s no arguing that Google and other online entities have made our world easier and convenient. In the age of the internet, we no longer only utilize search engines or message boards, but social media and digital directories to find services or items we need. For small businesses, this can be a great way to not only promote your business but to gain support from your community. 

Over recent years and with the heavy impact of COVID-19, Google Maps and Google My Business have become staples not only for the regular business information but also for others to support local businesses. Below, you’ll read about features in Google Maps that have transformed the way we support local businesses.

1. Reviews

We try to highlight how important reviews are for small businesses or even large businesses. They allow customers to let others know about their experiences and provide positive feedback, which is important when potential customers or clients are looking at your business or services. Even if a business receives negative reviews, it allows the business to provide a response and ultimately show that they care about what others are saying, and they’re willing to correct any wrongs that may have been done. 

With Google Maps, users are able to see reviews and star ratings, which allows them to make an informed decision. They can also see photos of services, food, or other items the business may provide, all while on the go or when in an area they haven’t been to before. The information in Google Maps is a great way for those traveling, moving, or exploring their local community, to help support local businesses.

2. Business information

Keeping your customers and clients up to date with your most recent information is crucial to success. Especially in times where hours are changing due to labor shortages, different city mandates, and other issues, keeping your online information updated is more important than ever. Now, not only does Google provide users with a map of local businesses, but other features as well. 

Google Maps supplies users with important information about a business such as hours of operation, current services provided, and days that the business is open. Due to the recent state of small businesses, Google also implemented a way for users to suggest edits allowing others to know if anything has changed, and helping local businesses stay up to date. Google receives the information changes and makes the updates as they come in. These changes and information allow others to support local businesses by being active in their community, leaving positive feedback and sharing information that links others to the business. 

3. Report as opened or re-opened

The harsh reality of this new world is; a lot of businesses are closed. Whether it was temporarily and they’re getting ready to reopen, or they closed permanently, a lot of local businesses felt the impact of quarantine and closed due to lack of customers or inability to keep employees hired. Even as people returned to the workforce and quarantine restrictions lifted, for some local and small businesses the impact was too great to recover. 

Within this transition, some businesses that returned may have forgotten to update their hours, safety protocols, or even that they had reopened. Google Maps put the power of updating these factors into the hands of customers and clients. You can report that a business opened or reopened the same as reporting a change. This helps local businesses continue being seen by potential new customers and clients and letting the community know that the business has returned. 

4. Options for donation or gift cards

As we’ve also talked about in the previous blog and social media posts, gift cards are a fantastic way to continue supporting small and local businesses. It provides the business with revenue but you or your recipient don’t have to use the gift card right away. You can also support local businesses in your community by providing a donation either directly to them, or to an organization that supports small and local businesses.

Google Maps has put a lot of power into users and businesses alike. In an effort to continue supporting local businesses, they also added a feature that allows users to purchase gift cards, or provide donations through the app. To do this, users simply search ‘support a local business in their Google Maps app to see a list of businesses accepting donations or allowing gift cards to be purchased online. This is a great option especially with the holidays on the way, and for those who want to support but also want to stay safe. 

While the internet is a lot like our real-world and constantly changing, there are a lot of good things that are available to help those in need. Ultimately, the use of the internet and apps like Google Maps is to bring us closer together and to help support our community. It provides needed and useful information, as well as ways we can support and lift each other up. It’s one of the great tools that allow us all to support local businesses and continue supporting them in the future. 

20 ways to support local businesses in 2021

business, now more than ever we need to support each other. Small businesses have found themselves in pretty dire situations, and it’s no surprise people are responding with an outpour of support to try and help. If you feel like you’ve run out of ways you can support your local businesses, or community, keep reading. We have twenty great ways you can support local, and support small businesses.

  1. Commit to Local Businesses

While this seems simple to do, it can be harder in practice! To support local businesses, it’s important to commit to those businesses the best you can. Below we’ll dive more into ways you can help, but the key ingredient here is committing to those businesses, even if it’s just a few of your favorites. 

  1. Write a post

We all know that for business, content is king, and this idea extends to being a customer. Utilizing your social media to write a nice post about your favorite local business or small business can go a long way! You don’t have to be a novelist or write something lengthy, but just putting up a post to let your friends list or followers know where you like to go can boost business for your favorite shop!

  1. Tip Well

Going out to eat? Tipping is customary in our culture, but remember that not only are you supporting the business by dining out, but you’re also supporting their staff. A lot of the staff rely on their tips to make ends meet, and fewer people dining out means fewer tips. Remember to tip well if you can, it’ll be appreciated by a lot of people!

  1. Go Online

Want to keep your distance but still help small businesses? Shopping online at your local business stores is another great way to help boost their sales and also supply yourself with items you need, or even items you want. 

  1. Offer your own services

Do you have a special skill? Maybe a few connections in the community? Reach out and offer them! It never hurts to ask if there’s something else you can do other than purchase their services or supplies. Businesses often pay a lot of money for graphics, consulting, and advertising. If you have a skill that can be of use, offering it can go a long way in keeping local businesses running.

  1. Donate

Not only is donating great for the community, but any extra supplies could be welcomed by small businesses, and a great way to support local shops and owners. You could donate money to a cause they’re running, items to a fundraiser, or even extra supplies that you may have hoarded like hand sanitizer or toilet paper. Check in with your local businesses and see if there’s anything you can offer them to make their operations smoother. 

  1. Write a Review

Reviews do a lot for a business like helping it rank higher in Google searches, letting those on social media know that their customers are happy, and ultimately driving more business to them. With travel reopening, leaving a great review for your local businesses can help boost their customer base by showing not only loyalty but the satisfaction their customers receive!

  1. Tell All Your Friends

Word of mouth is also still one of the top ways to market and advertise. Telling friends and family about your favorite haunts and encouraging them to try out your favorite restaurants or shops can increase the support the business sees, and help them get through these hard times. 

  1. Take Pictures

Especially for restaurants, or businesses where you receive handmade goods, photos are important. It gives others the ability to see the quality you received, and when posting to social media or a review, can help the business receive more positive reviews and business. Also, use of photos helps with advertising, just remember to tag them!

  1. Order Take Out

Ordering take out from chain restaurants has been made easy by delivery apps, but next time you’re looking for a quick meal, double check to see if your favorite restaurant is offering delivery or take out services! Not only will you be able to fill your stomach but you’ll also continue supporting small business and community members. 

  1. Keep the Membership

With social distancing, work-from-home measures, and other precautions that have made leaving our homes different, keeping gym memberships or other memberships seems to be illogical, especially if they’re temporarily closed. However, keeping your membership until the space reopens could potentially help keep that small business or local business in operation. 

  1. DIY Projects

We all picked up a hobby or two during the initial shutdown, so why not keep it going? If you’re in need of craft supplies, or you’re looking to spruce up your space, try hitting up local suppliers before big chains first. They may also offer better deals or tricks on how to accomplish your project. 

  1. Follow, Like, Share and Subscribe

We’ve said it once, we’ll say it a lot more, content is king. Follow your favorite local businesses, like their posts, share their posts, or subscribe to their channels for regular updates. Not only does this boost their social media presence and help their name spread onto other feeds, but it can help you stay on top of what they might need, or any deals they might be offering. 

  1. Check Local Business Directories

We’ve done a few articles in different directories businesses should sign up for, and you can check them out for yourself to see where your city might have the most listings! But checking these local business directories for contractors, restaurants, shops, salons, and other needs is a great way to support small business and local businesses alike. 

  1. Continue Checking In

Sometimes, reaching out to check in and directly ask what they need to feel supported is the best thing you can do. Letting a small business or local businesses know that you’re there to support is a meaningful way to show you care and you’re present for your community. 

  1. Lookout for Local Events

Events that allow small businesses to showcase their products and services are typically held throughout the year, usually at an expo or a fair. Keep an eye on your local paper, chamber of commerce, or other city social media to be sure you’re up to date on events happening and how you can support them.

  1. Be Thoughtful

During these times, it’s difficult to keep others in mind with all the stress that’s mounting. But continuing to be thoughtful and mindful when shopping can help small businesses continue to succeed. 

  1. Be Compassionate

Compassion is a gift that everyone can benefit from but is one that can sometimes be lacking in times of hardship. Allowing yourself to extend compassion is just one way to show that you’re in it with others and you’re going to support in the ways you can. 

  1. Be Patient

This is a big one, especially for local businesses. Some places are lacking staff, some are having difficulty getting supplies, regardless of the reason you may have to wait or your favorite item might be out of stock. Being patient is an extension of showing compassion, and kindness. It will allow businesses to feel at ease and it allows them grace while they try to fill your needs.

  1. Keep Spreading the Good Vibes

A lot of us can agree times are hard. Positivity is a way to outreach to your community and when you get involved with a positive attitude others will follow suit. Bringing unity during hard times makes us stronger, so keep up the good attitude and continue to persevere. 

Advertise your business

Top 10 ways to Advertise your business in 2021

Advertising your business can be a scary thing. If you’re a small or local business, the last thing you want is to use resources that may not lead to more sales, customers, or clients. The best way to support local business is through advertising, and there are plenty of ways to do it! Below, you’ll find a list of our Top 10 ways to advertise your business in 2021. 

Advertise your business

1. Search Ads

The first and best way to advertise your business is through search engine ads. These ads can be run on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and they’re a great way to get your business seen online. They are paid campaigns, so you have to monitor your budget, but they’re very easy to control how much money is spent and where. You can also always adjust your ads to fit your budget needs so you’re getting the most for your money. The other upside of these search ads is, you only pay for what customers click on. So while you may have an expensive keyword, you’re only paying if the ad has clicks. Like any good campaign, it can take a few tries to get it perfect, and even when you do you’ll have to continue monitoring to stay on top of your budget and the keywords. However, getting seen on these major search engines is a great way to advertise and boost your business.

2. Social Media Ads

You can also run ads on social media. Most platforms have paid advertising, making it easy to advertise your business. Social media platforms are also a key component in marketing your business in general, so it’s definitely worth trying an ad campaign to extend your reach. The major social media platforms are great to support local business, and when you pair your paid ads with other content like blogs, or posts to highlight services, you’re more likely to gain traction and boost your reach. Social media ads are also great if you only want to target a specific demographic, so your ads will only appear to those who have relevant interests, making them more likely to click and continue on their buyer’s journey with you. 

3. Email Campaigns

Email campaigns are a great way to reach your goal, because you can utilize this advertising method to retarget previous buyers or buyers you may have lost. You can use email marketing to send certain targeted emails to those who showed interest, have been a customer or client, or if you have an online store, left something in their cart. The great thing about email marketing is it’s easy, and you can break your campaigns down while still including your entire target base. 

4. Referrals

If a previous client or customer was happy with your business, they’re more likely to tell others. Referrals or word of mouth is a fantastic way to advertise your business because it’s coming directly from someone that has tried your business and had a good experience. Referrals are a great way to support local business, and for local business to reach out to their community. 

5. Google My Business

Using Google My Business is how you can be seen on Google Maps. To do this, you set up your account and verify your business, which is the key component. Once you’re verified, you can optimize your listing so you appear higher on searches, and in more relevant searches. This option is also free, which is great for local business owners who are being conscious of their budget. 

6. Optimize your SEO

We cannot stress this enough, optimizing your SEO is an organic way to boost your reach and to advertise your business. There are a lot of resources available on how to check your SEO ranking, tactics you can use, but by optimizing your site to meeting Google’s algorithm, you’re more likely to be seen and be able to compete with other businesses in your area. A few things you can try to start are adding relevant keywords to your website, increasing the speed your site loads at, and having regular high-quality content on your site and your social media accounts. 

7. Utilize Blogs

Along with SEO, utilizing blogs to increase engagement and content on your site is another top way to advertise. You can promote your blogs on your social media accounts, allowing your customers or clients to both read about your business, but also engage with you. Having blog content for your website allows you to also utilize keywords for SEO purposes, which can drive your ranking up on Google. Your blog topics can range from products you have, to your local business story, or to address events in your community and show you care. There are a lot of possibilities, and your consumers will appreciate the authenticity of your words. 

8. Share Content

Today with the prominence of social media content is still king, and sharing it can be key to your advertising campaigns. Not only can you share and promote your own content like blogs, social media posts, photos, but you can team up and collaborate with other businesses to support each other. This tactic can increase your social media presence and also help increase your engagement with others. It’s another organic way to advertise your business. 

9. Utilize Online Business Directories

An online business directory is great for you to put your business out there without having to do promotion or SEO. These directories allow you to put in your business information, let customers leave reviews, and even let you interact with customers. Some of them are free but there are paid options as well, depending on your needs. They allow people to do local searches and find services from local businesses or businesses closest to them. If you’d like to get started you can check out our blog of free online directories, or you can read more about our services as well.

10. Allow For Reviews

This might be the scariest option on this list, but allowing reviews can help your advertising efforts tremendously. This ties back to referrals and how word of mouth is a powerful source, allowing people to review you online is a way to showcase your strengths. You can also respond and show your community or potential consumers that you’re invested in what is being said. If you get a bad review, this can also be helpful because it will show others you’re willing to address the situation and do your best to correct it. Of course, you might not win every battle, but others will see your efforts and appreciate them. 

Advertising your business can be challenging, frustrating, and sometimes scary. You work hard, and having to put yourself out there is sometimes uncomfortable, but when it comes to your business it’s worth it! Whether you have a big budget or no budget, there are options and opportunities for you to advertise and be seen by your local community and visiting outsiders.