10 tips to support small businesses

(BPT) – The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on small businesses. Whether it’s a local eatery, service provider, retail store or another type of business, when you shop small, you’re supporting a real person who is striving to keep his or her entrepreneurial dream alive.

“Small businesses are the heart of our country and Ball® home canning products business,” says Kris Malkoski, CEO of the Food Business Unit at Newell Brands. “We have been moved by the love our small business customers have shown their communities this past year. Still many small businesses are facing hardships and they need our support now more than ever.”

You can personally help make a difference by considering 10 simple ways to support small businesses:

Shop now: No need to wait for a sale or special event. By shopping now you’re putting much-needed funds into a small business that is depending on income each month to make ends meet and keep doors open.

Reverse shopping: Rather than thinking of the recipient and then where to shop for a gift, think of the shop first and then the recipients that would most like items from that particular business.

Go online: For small businesses that offer e-commerce options, be sure to consider online orders that ship directly to your home. This is a safe and convenient way to support your favorite businesses.

Shop in person: For businesses with physical locations, visit shops in person if you can use proper safety measures. If you know what you want, many businesses let you order ahead and opt for curbside or doorway pickup as well.

Consider gift cards: Not sure what to buy? Gift cards are always one of the most desired gifts, so if you need to send a little love to a loved one, wrap up a gift certificate in a beautiful card and feel good about your present choice.

Leave reviews: Online reviews can make a big difference for small businesses in expanding clientele. Go online and leave rave reviews for your favorite stores and why others should support them as well to help spread the word.

Be vocal: In addition to online reviews, talk up your favorite small businesses among friends. From independent restaurants to local service providers, use your voice as a powerful tool to build their reputation and support growth.

Partnerships: Look for small businesses who partner together to offer products or services that complement each other in packages, such as a gift basket bundle featuring your favorite local treats. You’ll support multiple businesses at once and often get a discount compared to buying separately.

Double up: For businesses like independent coffee shops or bakeries, consider a larger order. For example, go with that grande latte and order two dozen cookies to share with your neighbors.

Be patient: Small businesses are dealing with a multitude of challenges these days, from supply chain holdups to sluggish shipping and beyond. Your kindness is valued and your patience is crucial during these times.

“Actions big and small will help make a difference,” says Malkoski. “This is our time to give back to the businesses that help build our culture and communities, and we at Newell Brands want to give back too.”