When you shop local, your dollars stay in the community. Small businesses are an integral part of the foundation and character of our small towns. So instead of buying toilet paper in bulk, let’s put our hard-earned money back into our community by investing in what we know we need… our local businesses. Although many of us have been doing what’s listed below, let’s hold each other accountable and continue doing everything we can to keep our local businesses afloat.
1. Do the Little Things that Make a Difference
More than ever before, we remember the small acts of compassion in our day. We’re all struggling with something others don’t know about. When we pick up our food, go shopping, take a walk in the neighborhood, or go to any of our local businesses, check in with those around you. Say thank you, ask how someone is doing, or if there’s anything you can do to support their business! Genuine compassion can go a long way.
2. Buy Local
Instead of going to big brand companies, go shopping for new clothes at Ivori Boutique, go to the nearest local farmers market for fresh veggies, and get takeout from local restaurants as much as you can. If you’re low on wine, look for deals on your favorite local wineries’ social media pages. Many Gilroy wineries are offering curbside pickup and local delivery.
3. Pay it Forward with Gift Certificates
Some of us haven’t gotten our hair or nails done since March 2020 and have gotten pretty good at backyard hair cutting sessions and using at-home nail kits. That doesn’t mean we can’t show some love to our hairdressers, barbers, nail stylists, spa salons and all our other favorite pampering businesses. Buy a gift certificate and pay it forward to those you may not be able to see right now, but will again one day.
4. Write a Great Review
When you have a great experience at any local business, share photos online with encouraging content to help out our local businesses. Whether you go to a local seamstress, get a pair of boots fixed, drop off some vintage jewelry at your local vintage thrift store, or have a great meal…all qualify for writing a great review. Check out review sites such as Google, Facebook and Yelp.
5. Give a Signal Boost
Follow your favorite local businesses online to show your support. Don’t just stop there though. Make sure you’re liking, commenting and sharing their posts when you see something you like. The more engagement online, the better. A lot of companies are showing their appreciation to their online communities by doing giveaways, discounts or sharing specials only seen online. Since we can’t be together in person, everyone’s social media presence has magnified. Give a shout-out to your favorite local businesses on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogs, just because you care. We can all use the extra support these days.
6. Share Your Favorites
We all have that one local store you just want to keep in your pocket forever. It’s hidden away, adorable, and has all your favorite things. The business owner is the nicest person you’ve ever met—and you want to keep it all to yourself. These days, we find ourselves relating to toddler logic in saying “sharing is caring.” Tell all your friends, family and loved ones about your favorite local businesses. Now is the time to send everyone you know to all your favorite places!
7. Stay Loyal
We understand things are different and more difficult right now. From the different hours stores are open to your availability between work, kids, animals, cleaning and everything in between. Go to your favorite local stores as often as you can—even better, every time you need something. If you’re worried about convenience, they’ll appreciate your loyalty more than you know. So call ahead and see if they do local delivery or curbside pickup if needed.
8. Tip Generously
Tip as much as you can to anyone you encounter in customer service. Whether it’s your delivery driver, barista, waiter or dropping some cash in the tip jar when picking up your takeout. If you’re an essential worker that’s traveling, make sure you’re tipping the housekeeping staff. After our incredible front line health care workers, these people are the most exposed. . Most of our customer service essential workers are not getting the tips or wage they would be getting previous to COVID-19. If you’re able, make someone’s day with a big tip.
In the early days of the pandemic, none of us knew how to navigate showing support during a lockdown, and we’re still learning all the ways we can all show support for our community and local businesses. This is a great start in supporting our local Gilroy businesses. Stay safe and healthy so we can all get through this together!