SHOW SOME LOVE
One of the best things you can do to help a business you want to support is take the time to write a review on Yelp, Facebook or Google. If you want to give them an extra boost, post about them on social media—it’s free and it’s something we’re willing to do for literally everything else.
PLACE AN ORDER
If you’re planning on ordering take out or delivery, check to see if the restaurant accepts orders through their website or over the phone before using Uber Eats or other delivery services. That way a portion of the sale—up to 30%—isn’t collected by a third party. After all, it’s not as though restaurants are known for operating on huge margins.
BUY GIFT CARDS
Even if it’s for you, buying gift cards is basically the same as an interest-free loan. If you have a regular café you go to all the time, getting a gift card that covers your next 25 coffees gives them the funds you’d normally spend over months, which can make a big difference. Remember, you can always give that gift card away, for example to an undercaffeinated TOB writer.
OFFER YOUR SKILLS
If you have a specialized skillset you think could help a business you care about, like web design or social media expertise, ask if you can help. With the crunch small businesses are under, it’s likely they’re not able to afford the extra time or funds required to do that kind of work. And there’s always a good chance your generosity will be compensated in spring rolls.
Yes, Amazon is easy. But a slightly less convenient, local solution can contribute to keeping a community business afloat. Amazon doesn’t really need your business. Wouldn’t you rather support your neighbour than a company that vaguely resembles the megacorporation from Wall-E?
LET IT SLIDE
If you’ve had a bad experience somewhere, let it go. We’re all going through stuff right now. And if a small business survives this trying time, it’s not fair that a negative review of their reduced pandemic services damages their online profile forever. Because unfortunately, businesses don’t have an equivalent to negatively review annoying customers who wear their mask under their nose.