Even though we have entered a new year where vaccine rollout is underway and companies are slowly heading back into the office, the local businesses we may have supported in the past are still suffering. But let’s face it: in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, not all of us have been able to continue visiting those locations to offer our support in person. Some of us are still working from home (and will be for a while), some of us have changed our budgets, and some of us simply just don’t feel comfortable mingling out in public yet (don’t worry, we love takeout on the couch too).
Luckily, there are still ways for us to support independent businesses from home that are both safe and easy on the wallet.
Support Them on Social Media
One of the easiest ways to help support local businesses is to show it online! Follow their social media profiles, comment on their posts, and share their updates to help spread the word about what they offer. Just because you aren’t currently in a position to give them support through direct purchases, other people may be looking for local businesses to buy from in your area. 71% of people are more likely to purchase products and services based on social media reputations, so you can still lend these businesses a hand for the low low price of $FREE.99 just by posting about them!
Leave Positive Reviews
Whether you prefer to review businesses on sites like TripAdvisor or social media platforms like Facebook, you can help local providers gain market recognition by providing positive feedback about your experience. Positive reviews have been shown to directly influence traffic; 67% of shoppers’ purchases are influenced by online reviews. Moreover, close to 90% (yes, you’re reading that correctly) of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Buy Gift Cards
If you’re currently unable to make purchases at your favorite local spot, buy a gift card to use later! Even though this is a short-term solution (ie, it doesn’t offer continued revenue for the business over time), it gives them the support they need sooner rather than later and you get the chance to buy a gift for your future self (and who doesn’t love that?).
Gift cards are also a great option for your loved ones’ special occasions because if we’re being honest, giving them a chance to buy something they ACTUALLY want is waaaay better than the last-minute gift you were going to buy them from the drug store anyway.
Buy Their Merch
If you’re looking for a more concrete way to lend a helping hand to your favorite local businesses, why not turn yourself into a human billboard with some of their awesome merch? You get to offer monetary support and also get a cool piece of clothing to wear to your next Zoom meeting where you never know which one of your coworkers may be influenced! And taking this even further, you can wear their merch for your next Instagram pic and tag them to help spread the word to your network.
How We’re Helping
Since day one, our team has been dedicated to supporting independent businesses. And when COVID hit, we knew that we needed to come up with new solutions that would allow us to continue supporting our vendors while reaching our clients at home. With our new virtual experiences platform, employee snack box program, and home-delivered meals, we did just that.
Whether it be a beer (or wine) tasting, a virtual escape room, or a calming yoga class, our virtual experience providers have made working from home more fun with their remote offerings. Many of these vendors were offering in-person-only activities before 2020, but we both saw the need for an at-home option when it seemed that our time inside was never going to end. In creating this addition to our platform, we have been able to connect companies looking to boost morale to our independent suppliers all over the world, opening them up to an entirely new market of clients that they would have been unable to reach in the past.
Did you know that catering makes up 18% of sales for restaurants that offer the service? And that 61% of their catering business comes from B2B operations (like Cater2.me)? When looking at those stats, it is evident that having your company participate in our Group Ordering program can directly support independent businesses near your workplace. It is cost-effective for your team and a safe option for even the most COVID-conscious coworker. All of the meals are individually packaged and delivered right to your office, and we meticulously organize them to ensure there are no long lunch lines involved in our no-contact pickup.
Furthermore, if you start showing your team the great meals that these local vendors have to offer, you could trigger even more revenue for their businesses as employees may start ordering from them outside of work!
After all this, you may be asking, “How can I find local businesses near me?”
If these tips have inspired you to get out there and offer your support, check out these directories to find the local vendors in your area that need your help adapting to the current market.
If you’re a company looking for a meal solution that supports other independent businesses, get in touch to see how you can partner with Cater2.me and get your team engaged with some great local grub or remote experiences (seems like a win-win to us)!