How to Support Local Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Support Local Businesses
Credit: | How to Support Local Businesses Affected by COVID-19 | The recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing a tremendous economic slowdown around the world today. Local investments, trades, and social activities in Australia are definitely affected by this global health crisis.

As the COVID situation may continue for a little longer, government authorities in Australia are requesting citizens to stay home. This would greatly affect small businesses, particularly those non-essential ones since consumers will likely go out less frequently and turn to online shopping instead. While some companies remain operational with remote business setups, however, others are not capable of staying open.

Small businesses will definitely need to brace themselves for several months of uncertainties brought by the economic impact of COVID-19. But you can still lend a helping hand to local businesses and service workers within your locality through these suggestions:

1. Continuous Patronage

To begin with, service establishments, such as restaurants, fast food chains, and petrol stations, are noticeably taking the hardest hit with only fewer customers willing to go out. One effective way to help these businesses is to keep ordering their food for delivery, takeout, or store pickup. You may use mobile delivery apps or delivery hotlines to place an order.

In case you have decided to visit a supermarket or any drugstore, make sure to drop by a petrol station to fuel up a bit. As an alternative, you may consider skipping the jam-packed supermarkets and instead purchase some locally-produced raw ingredients or food stocks from your favorite restaurants or bread shops to help them cover their dropping sales. It is important to keep local businesses running during the nationwide economic slowdown.

2. Giving Tips a Little More Often

Tipping extra can be helpful for local store owners and employees to generate some extra income during these hard times. But of course, food delivery or tipping might not be possible for all Australian citizens, especially those who have been laid off either temporarily or permanently from work due to the coronavirus crisis. However, if you are still employed or if you have enough savings, consider practicing this “pay-it-forward” thinking to help thousands of Australians who don’t have enough options for now. Jimmy from My Online Guy posted a short video about helping local restaurants by ordering food if you have an extra budget. You can see the short video here on Facebook.

3. Purchasing Gift Certificates

Buying gift cards or gift certificates is another way to help local establishments stay afloat during this global health emergency. You can use these certificates later, but the most important thing is that you are helping local businesses generate income that they badly needed at this time. Gift certificates are also great to be given away to service workers around you, including store clerks, delivery personnel, and utility staff, instead of giving out cash.

4. Making Online Purchases

You may be wondering how to help local businesses around you while being stuck at home. You can do this by shopping at your favorite local shops through online, as you normally do when visiting their physical store location. However, if the store does not have any existing online shop, you may suggest to the owner to create an online platform where customers can easily reach the store. What’s more important here is to keep the customers informed on how local businesses would operate during the nationwide lockdown.

If you are a business owner, it is crucial to communicate with your clients regularly using promotional offers, marketing blogs, and future service discount packages. You should also update your business website to inform customers about your current operating hours and available product lines during this period of lockdown.

5. Donating Payments to Businesses

Sending payments to non-essential local businesses, such as gym classes, beauty salons, house cleaning services, or massage centers, that you made appointments can somehow alleviate the effects of high profit loss during the coronavirus outbreak. These service establishments will find it difficult to survive over the next few months without a steady source of income, so donated payments can really help both business owners and employees. Donations can also be sent to non-profit organizations that are designed to assist service workers and small business owners through low-interest loans and other financial benefits. However, this may not be a good option if you are in rough financial trouble. 

6. Initiating Deferred Rental Payment

If you are a building owner, you may extend a helping hand to your tenants by postponing their rental fees for a certain period of time, giving them enough time to make up for their lost profit. It is suggested to restructure their rental payment scheme to cover the period of the deferred payment.

Everyone is undoubtedly impacted by the current lockdown due to COVID-19, shutting off many businesses and rendering millions of people jobless. While everybody is separated from stringent social distancing guidelines, you can still express your sincere appreciation to the people that support your daily needs by remaining loyal to your beloved brick-and-mortar shops and online stores.

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