How to Support Your Favorite Small Businesses
Written by Gina Rockenwagner
Illustration by daniela jordan~villaveces
Pivot, Turn, Kick, Ball Change
With the situation evolving day to day, many businesses are pivoting their operations to serve the needs of their changing communities. Bars and restaurants are stocking groceries and household items, seamstresses are making masks and farms that would normally sell at farmers markets are now doing deliveries and drop offs at central locations. Even restaurants that don’t normally do take out are suddenly catering to those following stay at home guidelines. Follow up with your favorite local businesses and see if they’re offering new items or services you can take advantage of.
Write an ode to your favorite brand! Tweet a heartfelt message that puts into words why you love this business so much. If you don’t have one million followers, don’t worry! Often times a meaningful endorsement from a trusted, real life friend can cut through the noise and have a greater impact than a manufactured post from a mega influencer.
Social Distancing, But Make it Cute
Put together an Outfit of the Day using your favorite pieces from super star small businesses and share it on social media. Make sure to shout out all the brands you want to feature! You never know, putting on a cute outfit might cheer you up.
If you don’t feel like getting dressed, make a random meal at home a special occasion. Set the table with your favorite ceramic and tabletop items as if you were decorating your own restaurant. One silver lining of this time is all the attention to creature comforts. Suddenly the objects we surround ourselves with are much more meaningful and this gives us an opportunity to spotlight the fabulous makers whose work helps us feel at home.
Surprise Your Friends!
Who doesn’t love a birthday surprise? Buy a card or a small gift for one of your friends celebrating a birthday in quarantine. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, think a beautiful illustrated set of tarot cards, a small bouquet of flowers from a local florist or a thoughtful note written in a lovely card. Your friend will be thrilled to receive a surprise and we all know small businesses can use all the support we can offer right now.
Invest in Futures
Buy a gift card from your local boutique, so you can shop with them when they reopen! This can also be a great way to support nail and hair salons, gyms, and spas, which have all been forced to close their doors at this time. We’re all going to need a treat when this is over, so if you can afford it right now, you might as well pre-pay for your future self care session.
Chances are, the folks behind the small businesses you love have been burning the candle at both ends. During these trying times, workers and small business owners are under more pressure than ever. Everyone would appreciate a little patience right now. Expect to wait a little longer to have your orders fulfilled. The postal service in particular is spread extraordinarily thin, so don’t fret if your packages don’t move as quickly as they normally do. Remember that delivery drivers are managing mile long delivery lists with complicated routes. Cut them some slack, and don’t forget to tip!
Gina Rockenwagner is the founder of sustainable knitwear brand, Soft Haus.