It’s pretty devastating to walk around the streets and see so many businesses closed or empty. Some businesses have managed to pivot to an online/takeaway/click and collect offer, but not all can do this.

So, if you’d like to help out some local businesses who have closed (or aren’t able to operate at full capacity thanks to the restrictions), here’s what you can do right now:

1. Tell a small business owner why you love what they do
2. Pop a handwritten note under the door to let them know you can’t wait to support them when they reopen
3. Buy a gift voucher/credit to use when they reopen
4. Write a positive review of your favourite businesses on Google (it will help them rank higher on search listings when people search for their products/services)
5. Shout out great local businesses on social media telling everyone why they are so awesome
6. Make a booking (for a haircut, beauty appt, dinner, etc) and prepay it to help the business with their cashflow
7. If you discover a great local product/service, tell your friends or share it in your local Facebook groups (marketing budgets are often small, word of mouth can do wonders!)
8. Buy a ‘just because’ gift for someone from a local business. When they get it, encourage them to pay it forward and buy a gift for another friend from a local business.
9. Got some downtime? Donate your (online) services. Maybe you can help a business with some website tweaks, social media tips, admin tasks, business advice or bookkeeping?
10. Check in with them. Make sure they’re ok. For most businesses on the NB, this is our third lockdown in just over a year. That’s a hard pill to swallow!

I think #10 is the most important, mostly because I know how much we have appreciated everyone checking in. I can, however, guarantee that each of these tips will make a difference to a small business owner right now.