When you were younger, would you ever have periods of life where nothing seemed to turn out right? As a high school coach and small business owner, I often talk to teenagers and younger adults about “resetting” to move forward when we get stuck in trying times. Without a reset, thoughts and actions can quickly escalate into negative cycles which are difficult to escape.
This is especially true today, as we experience shelter-in-home lifestyles, quarantines and economic peril. We certainly seem to be in the midst of a very negative cycle for society and need to reset it. How? There are small contributions each of us can make today to help the economy and our local communities to move forward.
One of the most important things we can do right now is support small businesses. In many ways, they are the lifeblood of a local community. Here are a few simple ideas each of us can enact today to help small businesses, and by extension, our communities:
Low Cost or Free Support:
Follow your favorite local business on social media. Simply go to their website and scroll to the bottom of their homepage and you’ll see links to their social profiles -- click them and follow.
Write a positive online business review. Platforms like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook have review functionality.
Spread the word about a business in your neighborhood. While many of us are cautiously conversing with neighbors at a safe distance or in online chat groups, make sure to remind others about your favorite local brands.
Support local businesses by sporting their stickers, t-shirts, or other branded items.
Buy local now, while small businesses are struggling to pay the rent. This can be done by purchasing items online or getting take out food, when possible.
Shift to gift giving. Buy gift certificates to a favorite local restaurant, tickets to a local attraction, or goods from a local vendor. Give them to family or friends that will appreciate the gesture.
Sponsor activities focused on children. This could be online education programs or in person sports camps that will hopefully be ready to open this summer.
Pay it forward with your neighborhood. Buy coffee or food for helpful neighbors in your chat groups or next door apps.
If you are a business owner - look to use local vendors instead of national corporations or even barter services with other local businesses to support each other.
There’s no way to completely avoid the economic and societal disruptions we’re experiencing but there are ways we can all contribute each and every day. I’d love to hear your ideas too -- please comment on them below!