Who would have thought that Sydney would be in lockdown again? That after a whole half-year of eased restrictions, we’d be back to living in trackies with the highlight of our days being walks, virtual hangouts and takeaway coffees. Needless to say, the current situation Sydney is now in is truly wild and deeply tragic.
Because apart from the deaths the virus has and may still cause, it’s also resulting in a lockdown with drastic repercussions on our mental health and on the economy, both of which we’ll see effects of for years to come.
In particular, like the last time ‘round, one of the hardest-hit sectors has been small businesses. Cafés, restaurants and grocers have seen massive declines in profits, while local beauty salons and corner clothing boutiques have, with the new restrictions, been forced to completely shut down. Again. It’s been devastating, to say the least.
Small, local businesses aren’t only essential for our economy, they also bring innovation, provide employment and create entrepreneurship opportunities in our communities. Not to mention the fact they genuinely care for us, and might even know our names, too (shout-out to everyone at my local coffeeshop Bru who knows my name and order).
So, with that in mind, inspired by the many memes we’re seeing circulating on this topic, we thought we’d share with you some of the best ways you can support these small businesses during lockdown 2.0.
Buy gift cards or credit to spend later
For small businesses, cash flow is key. Without investment backing them, they rely heavily on money coming in so they can pay off their expenses and keep running. Without any money coming in and government help (fingers crossed) still awhile off, many small businesses won’t be able to pay their bills or staff, and so will appreciate you spending with them now on services you can use later on.
Check to see if they’ve ‘pivoted’
That being said, the business may in fact be offering a service or product you can use now. Probably the best example of this, and one you’re no doubt familiar with from the first lockdown, are the many gyms and workout studios that began offering their classes online. Or the many restaurants that began doing takeaway feasting boxes. Or the bars that did at-home cocktail kits.
So, this is a reminder to check local businesses social media accounts or websites to see if they’re doing anything new you can help to support.
Share their new offerings online
And if they are? Don’t just you support them — get your friends, family and random social media followers to do so too. Share about the business’ offering (they’ll likely post about it on Instagram and Facebook) on your feeds and inspire your social circle to help out, too.
Offer up your services
Short on cash yourself? Why not capitalise on any skills you might have and offer them up to a small business? If you’re a marketing pro, social media whizz or skilled wordsmith, reach out to any small businesses, let them know your expertise and ask if there’s any way you can help.
Small businesses often don’t have the funds to invest in services like these, so your efforts could go a long way in helping them out — both financially, with more sales and brand awareness, and morally, with their knowing they’re not alone in this and that their customers really care.
Leave a Google or Facebook review
A glowing, online review is such a simple, yet big win for small businesses. For many, a Google or Facebook review will be the first thing potential customers or patrons will see about them. So, a bunch of positive reviews will likely lead to more visitors, which will then, hopefully, convert into more business, either now or when they re-open. Remember, of course, to be authentic and specific about your experience as that’ll lend itself to your review’s credibility.
Tip service workers extra
And finally, probably the easiest on the list, is to tip service workers extra (or, in some cases, even at all). Your UberEats driver, barista or even the person standing outside Woollies handing out masks — slip them a note or hand them back your change.