Enjoy Rewards

5 Expert Tips for The Best Ways to Shop Small and Give Back 

Trae Bodge  |  July 28, 2020

Looking to support the small business owners in your life? Here's how to help keep your favorite entrepreneurs afloat during the coronavirus.

With their doors shuttered for months due to the pandemic, many small businesses across the country are struggling to survive. Some have tapped into PPP loans, but we know that those loans are only a stopgap. A newly released study from American Express found that nearly two-thirds of small businesses need consumer spending to return to normal by year’s end to stay afloat, and nearly 1 in 4 small-business owners have stopped paying themselves in order to remain open. In short, small businesses need our help.

Here are some tips for supporting your favorite small businesses during this time. 

Why Shop Small?

You might be wondering, why should I shop small? When you do so, your dollars go straight to the source. For instance, when you buy educational games from the toy store downtown, you are helping to keep that business open. Your continued business helps keep their doors open, while helping the local community thrive.  

Own your money, own your life. Subscribe to HerMoney to get the latest money news and tips!

Discover something new

If businesses are open where you live and you are comfortable venturing in and shopping with social distancing rules in place, check out shops and eateries that you haven’t visited before. Make it a habit to try out a new spot every week. You’ll likely discover a shop with the perfect gift for a friends’ birthday, a new go-to sushi spot, or a clerk at the hardware store who is a whiz with paint colors. Remember to follow local health and safety guidelines!  

LISTEN: HerMoney Podcast Episode 211: Small Businesses And Coronavirus: How To Support Entrepreneurs And How They Can Thrive 

Check in with your favorites

Many small businesses have pivoted during the pandemic: restaurants have started to sell grocery boxes and pre-packed lunches to-go, salons sell DIY hair color and home-facial kits, seamstresses are making protective face masks. So check in with your favorite go-to small businesses, see what they’re up to. They might have just what you need. 

If they’re not open yet, support virtually

Are businesses near you still not able to welcome customers in store? If the physical stores aren’t yet accessible, you can still support many of your favorites by shopping through their websites and picking up curbside. In many instances, you can have your items or your meals delivered to you. 

If you’d prefer to browse and buy in person, consider purchasing a gift certificate to use down the road if you are comfortable doing so. Paying now to buy later gives small businesses a much-needed influx of cash when they need it most, which is NOW. Many small businesses sell gift certificates on their websites. 

READ: What Female Small Business Owners Are Doing To Make It Through The COVID-19 Crisis

How to support without shopping

You want to support your local economy, but you are also watching your finances?  You don’t necessarily have to spend to be of help. If you’ve developed a rapport with the owner or manager of a retailer or restaurant, ask if there’s something you can do. Maybe they have a new service and they need to get the word out. You have plenty of friends in your network, right? 

Another way to help is to post rave reviews. Consumers are more likely to frequent a positively reviewed establishment. If there are merchants that you love, shout it from the rooftops by leaving them rave reviews them on your favorite review sites. 

Play a part in recovery 

If you’re an American Express card member, you can get $5 back after when you spend $10 or more at many eligible merchants when you shop small online, curbside, or in-store, up to 10 times, through September 20, 2020. The company is committing more than $200 million over the next several months to help jumpstart spending at small merchants. Details on all of the above can be found at ShopSmall.com. 

More on HerMoney:

Own your money, own your life. Subscribe to HerMoney to get the latest money news and tips!

Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. Posts may contain references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.

Next Article: