Did we really think we’d still be facing a global pandemic as the 2020 holiday season kicked off? I definitely didn’t think so. But alas, Christmas lights are slowly making appearances on suburban streets as vaccine trials come close to a solution that’s ready for the public.
And with all of the mask-wearing and social-distancing came a truly difficult economic year, that hit small businesses harder than most. In fact, nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily closed for a time during COVID have now permanently gone out of business.
This holiday season, we’re doing what we can to support the small businesses we know and love. We reached out to our private HerMoney Facebook community to see how they’re doing the same, and learned a few tips and tricks we love! Here are a few of them.
Heather S. has been heading to her favorite local food spots for takeout. “Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, I try to give double the amount of tips or at least 25% if I’m strapped! I’ve done the 25% tip route since the pandemic started for my takeouts too!” she says.
Kimberly G. may not be buying gifts, but she is buying a ton of components for her kitchen remodel, all from small businesses. “The cabinets and counters are coming from a local small business. Meaning the cabinets are built 10 miles from my house and they have been a pleasure to work with. I know the specific small business I am visiting to make my purchase [for tile]. Yes, I could buy tile from a big box store and it may cost a little less, but I would rather shop local than big corp,” she says.
Alissa H., a small business owner herself, is taking the extra step to help others in her position. She says, “I’m not selling gift certificates in my own business because the situation is so volatile. And I’m not spending much for the same reasons. So I put together a list of very small woman owned businesses and I’m encouraging my clients to buy from them.” You can check out her gift guide here.
Our very own Dayana Y. says “I’m lucky because I live in a neighborhood that has tons of unique small businesses. The local chamber of commerce and small business groups do a great job promoting the range of stores, restaurants and services we have. There are scavenger hunts and this year a “cookie crawl.” I’ve already got a list of places I’m going to stop in to buy special gifts (or gift certificates) for family and friends.”
Kathryn T., who many of you know as HerMoney’s EIC, says, “I’ll be shopping at The Strand bookstore in NYC… They made a heartfelt post on social media stating that their revenues are down by 70% this year, and asked for help. I’m so thankful they did that, because now I’m going to spend more than I would have otherwise. (Of course I also think that books are the perfect gift for any holiday or occasion, so that makes it easy!) But they also have tote bags, candles, art supplies, coffee mugs, and so much more. I’m also going to be shopping on Etsy. As a southern girl, I would monogram my forehead if it were socially acceptable, and my favorite monogram shop is just a one-woman show, selling on Etsy — Lakeside Monograms in Georgia!”
Kim D. is looking to shop local as much as she can this holiday season. “We started making lists of what we need for the holidays and what we’d like to get for others. Then we try to find local small businesses that carry the item(s) and buy them from our local business and mail them or locate small businesses near our loved ones and purchase online from their local shops/restaurants/stores and have them delivered from there. I wish there were more lists for small businesses. Closer to the holidays we will most likely also be purchasing gift certificates.”
We also checked in with some of our favorite small business owners to hear what they are hoping for from customers as the holidays inch closer. Ami D. says, “For me, as I run my business almost solely through Facebook and Instagram, I think there are a few things that people can do that don’t actually cost anything. I sell preloved high-end designer bags and accessories and I know that not everyone can support that financially, but by liking posts, sharing or commenting on my posts etc, these are enormously helpful because it means that more people will potentially see my items for sale and that might translate into one buyer, who might have a great experience and keep coming back over the years. It’s the ripple effect of just those small things. That’s probably the best way I can think of to be supported, and best yet, it’s free.”
More on HerMoney:
- 7 Ways To Support Female Entrepreneurs And Small Businesses During COVID
- Why I Started a Second Business When I Was Getting My First One Off the Ground
- What Female Small Business Owners Are Doing to Make It Through the Covid-19 Crisis
- The $5 Million Women (And the 4 Steps Female Entrepreneurs Can Take to Get There)
SUBSCRIBE: Our best money and life advice delivered to your email box for free each week. Subscribe to HerMoney today.