by Michael Nelson
Support your favorite local shops and restaurants, while you still can.
The economy has been very tough the last few years, and many businesses are struggling every day, wrestling with fears of closure due to slacking sales through no fault of their own.
You keep hearing your favorite local stores and restaurants closed up, quit, went out of business. “I can’t believe it,” you say. “I Loved that place!”
Did you? Did you really? Let’s see how well you loved that place. Did you:
•visit often? Monthly? At least quarterly?
•take or meet new friends there often?
•promote them to your friends and neighbors when that type of business or service was mentioned as a need?
•give positive reviews on your social media? Facebook? Yelp? CitySearch? YP.com? Their own website?
Yes, you can be a great benefit to your neighbors who own businesses by giving them the gift of your free advertising.
Contact a friend and suggest meeting them there. This expands the customer base for the store.
Check in there on Facebook after you place your order, if it is a restaurant.
Pass on their “specials” update posts to your social media lists and groups.
When people ask for a referral to that kind of business, be sure to praise your favorite local shop! And post positive reviews praising the highlights there.
People read reviews when searching for places to shop and eat, so you have helped them find a great spot. Building the customer base of your favorite local shops helps them stay in business.
Yes, you wield great power to shape your local community. You vote with every dollar you spend for what kind of business you want to surround yourself with.
The regular customer’s financial support forms the basis for sustaining operation for those beloved local businesses. The dollars you spend there go directly to the local bank account of their local employees and the local family which owns the business.
That money stays in your community instead of being whisked off to random investors across the globe who have no vested interest in your community.
Yes, you are that important.
Don’t complain about them dying, then claim you haven’t been there in three years. Be the solution. Be a good regular customer.
The Go Independent, Shop Small (Anywhere USA) Facebook page gives this advice:
How can you integrate support of independents into the upcoming holiday? By planning where you spend, choosing carefully and shopping in advance. Let us count the ways:
•Order meats for grilling and the an-nual cookout at your indie butcher shop.
•Get the family involved and ask kids to choose one indie store to visit this week.
•The neighborhood hardware store has all your cookout and BBQ gear.
•Stop into your local grocer for picnic supplies and holiday accessories.
•Plan to visit the farm stand down the street for fresh produce
•Pick a day for the entire family to enjoy a local farmers market this weekend.