This is a really scary time for a lot of people. Health stresses and financial worries are at the forefront of most of our minds, especially those who are self-employed, own business, or work in industries that are going to take longer to bounce back. For those that are new around here, my husband is a pilot for a commercial airline so were are holding our breath, hoping for the best and also making some contingency plans.
I wanted to know how I could help support businesses, both big and small, through all this (I’m very fortunate that my NHS role is pretty secure!) I asked freelancers, business owners and solo entrepreneurs to share what difference we can make, both with our spending power and with gestures that don’t involve money.
How We Can Support Businesses & Freelancers During This Period
– Share the brand story.
Is there a brand that you love the ethos behind, found unexpectedly or have been using for a while? Share on your social channels, group WhatsApp, Facebook group or family email chain. Instagram have even created the ‘support small’ feature on IG stories now that highlight local business instagram accounts and will share them in a dedicated highlight on stories.
– Follow them on social media, like and comment on their posts to show you care.
This goes for big brands too and IG accounts with larger followings. The community aspect of social media is so important right now, I know I’m so grateful for every comment and share, now more so than ever.
– Write a review on Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook etc talking about a previous experience with them.
Did you love a recent takeout? Or have a great holiday somewhere last year? Whilst these might not be services you’re using right now, having positive reviews will help restaurants/hotels/salons etc in the future gain more clients.
– Tell your friends and family
Tell them about brands you like, that you’ve used in the past and had great customer service from or about companies that are treating their employees well during this time. Our money is going to have even more power when this all lifts, and we’re going to be thinking more carefully about where to spend it!
– Book in for future treatments/sessions if you can (eg with your hairdresser, salon, etc) or buy vouchers for future treatments, meals or events.
That can either be for your personal use or gifts for loved ones. A friend of ours owns a food truck and when Covid first hit he started promoting his vouchers to help keep him afloat (I’m excited for our dumplings in the future!)
– Sign up for their email/newsletters
Find out about offers, events in the future, their latest ventures or just other ways to support their business/blog. On that note, you can sign up to my weekly emails here 😉
– Donate to charities, both big and small.
A lot of them are struggling right now and would be very grateful for any support you’re able to give. If you can’t donate currently, then perhaps pledging your birthday, signing up to run a half/full marathon and raise funds next year, or hosting a virtual bake sale!
– Order online, but be patient when postage takes a little longer.
Remember that many businesses are just doing the best they can right now to follow new protocols when getting your deliveries out to you.
– Grab Takeaways
Support restaurants and cafes that are opening by getting a takeaway coffee for the queue at the supermarket or get a takeaway when you can (we’re doing Thursday night local takeaways!)
– Buy local
Try picking up a weekly fruit/veg box, supporting independent coffee shops, restaurants and brands.
– Like a podcast or read a good book recently? Write a review
On Amazon, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your fave podcast. (This is something I’m going to aim to do this week and share some love on my favourite podcasts)
– Take online classes from PT’s, physio sessions, etc if you need them & can afford it.
Many fitness instructors are asking you to ‘pay what you can’, and if you can’t afford it (either time wise or financially, then share it with someone that might benefit)
– Comment and connect, share posts with friends and family
Many businesses have blogs/website, these are a great place to connect with your favourite brands and influencers.
– Support the influencers you like by using codes they share (it saves you money too!)
Or choosing the brands that support them. Let them know that you like their recommendations, tell them why you like following them, or as I’ve said before, just share their posts, comment on their social media etc.
– Sign up for races later in the year/next year, or join virtual races
(And share reviews of races you’ve loved in the past to encourage others to sign up in future!)
– If you’ve found subscriptions or local offerings that you’ve loved recently, then try to continue them beyond lockdown.
We’re going to be continuing with Milk & More post-COVID, it’s convenient and more environmentally friendly.
– Get old photos edited by freelance photographers, book sessions in with the future, have a front porch session or buy their presets.
My friend and photographer Anna Jackson offers hourly editing rates and has just made her own presets
– Book holidays for next year or when things calm down.
Obviously we don’t know what will happen to ensure you have good travel insurance but this one is close to home with a husband that works in the airline industry! If you do have something booked and can afford to, get a voucher instead of a refund (although I know this isn’t possible for a lot of people!)
This is obviously not an exhaustive list so business owners/employees and consumers, please share any other suggestions you have…