How to support local businesses

Local and independent businesses have been amongst the hardest hit during the pandemic. Here’s how you can do your bit to keep them open.

The pandemic has been difficult for businesses of all kinds. However, while larger retailers have been able to fall back on ecommerce, the same is not always true for independent retailers and other small local businesses. These play a crucial role in the culture and environment of a town. Without them, your local area will be much poorer. It’s in everyone’s interests to support their local businesses whenever they can. Here are seven ways in which you can do it.

  1. Treat yourself to a takeaway

Lockdown comes with all sorts of challenges. Balancing work, family life and cooking and cleaning can be tiring. So, why not give yourself a break for the evening and treat yourself to a local takeaway from one of your local outlets? This doesn’t mean popping down the street for a McDonalds, this means supporting the local chip shop, curry house or Chinese takeaway.

They endured months of closures during the last two years and many will be struggling to make ends meet. Heading out for a takeaway not only represents a nice treat for the evening but it means you’re doing your bit for the local economy.

  1. Shop local

The single biggest thing you can do for local businesses is to shop local. Whether you’re doing the groceries or sorting out a gift for the family, try to think going local first. It may feel simpler to go to the supermarket or order in a food delivery, but taking a little time to visit your local grocers, butchers or newsagents can have a significant impact on the local economy.

During lockdown, many have adjusted their business to offer delivery options. For example, farm shops did veg boxes and local pubs started doing beer deliveries. Many of these services proved to be extremely popular, so they’ve kept them going after things opened up. In many cases this may cost a little more, but the shopping experience is much more pleasant than slogging through the queues of the supermarket and the quality will probably be a little better.

  1. Pay it forward schemes

To support their local businesses many cities have launched a number of initiatives. One of the most effective has been the Pay It Forward scheme which lets you pay for products or services now which can be delivered at a later date when things pick up again. That includes booking meals, a room in a hotel or a ticket to a show.

Other businesses have also adopted similar measures themselves. For example, the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic. With Omicron threatening further restrictions in 2022, the sector faces the prospect of more disruption just at the time it was hoping to get back on its feet.

To bring in some cash, some hotels are offering buy now stay later vouchers. These often come at a significant discount which means this could be an affordable way to book yourself a treat for later in the year.

  1. Use social media

Not everything on this list will cost money. There are plenty of things you can do from the comfort of your own home, such as giving people a shout out on social media. The internet is key for businesses of all sizes and local outlets are working hard to build up an online following. Giving them a follow will boost their profile, while you can also give them a mention. If they are on a review site, a friendly positive review will go a long way to helping them out and boosting their profile.

  1. Get streaming

Everything, it seems, has moved online. This includes people such as fitness instructors, yoga tutors and others who have to find ways to keep the money coming in during lockdown. Many of these streaming services proved to be extremely popular and opened them up to a whole new audience. It can be an easy and comfortable way for people to get some exercise or make lifestyle changes in the comfort of their own home.

  1. Get some work done

When it comes to local businesses it’s not just about local shops and restaurants. There are plenty of tradespeople such as plumbers and builders who were permitted to work through the lockdown. With 2022 likely to bring more restrictions in some shape or form, this could be a good opportunity to get some work done on your house. Without the ability to go out or go on holiday, many people used that spare cash to improve the space in which they lived.

This might include anything from doing those repairs you’ve always thought about to building a new extension. Aside from improving your living environment. This will also help to boost the value of your home.

  1. Stock up

As I write this, Omicron is in full flow and case numbers are higher than they have been since the pandemic. Rumours are circulating about upcoming lockdowns – the only certainty for 2022 is uncertainty. In short, with COVID-19 it’s always difficult to plan ahead. Despite the vaccines, the prospect of future lockdowns can never be discounted.

With that in mind, it can be a good idea to stock up on gifts and other things earlier. The chances are your local area will have all sorts of interesting artisans producing things such as clothing, ornaments and other potential gifts. Lockdown has been hard on them. Buying from them could make a huge difference to their prospects. In many cases, it could be just enough money to keep the lights on.

Your local businesses, then, are valuable and you won’t truly understand just how vital they are until they’ve gone. The pandemic has put many of them at risk. With your help, they can live to thrive another day.

Free business banking that’s simple, secure, and helps you focus on what you do best

Whether you’re on-the-go or working from home, you can easily access your bank in a way that suits you. Get started for free today.

Apply in Minutes From the App

Enter a uk mobile number and we will send you a link to get the app

What we offer

What we offer