How you can support small businesses this holiday season - and beyond!

Posted by Andrea Lawson on

Owners of MW Soapworks in their downtown Bellingham store

It's no secret - small businesses have had a tough time during the pandemic. And they need your help to survive!

We've all been having a difficult time during this pandemic but seeing some of our favorite small businesses and local restaurants close their doors permanently has been so very sad. Heading into the holidays, I'd love to share some tips for how you can help support your favorite local businesses in order to hopefully help more businesses ride out the wave of this trying time. If money is tight for you, that's ok! Not all support is currency based.

MW Soapworks items

1) SHOP LOCAL! Shop early! Shop often!

I probably don't really have to tell you this one but I'll remind you anyways. If you're looking for something special for yourself or a loved one, see if you can score something from a local business rather than a big box store. Spending your money with local businesses keeps a much higher percentage of that money right in your local economy. Local businesses support other local businesses, invest locally, donate locally. Help your own communities by spending with local businesses. You're supporting real people and families within your own area.

Supply chains are still super messed up from complications created by the pandemic. If you see something you like, grab it early! This will give small businesses more time to navigate possible restocks before the holiday season gets even busier for them. They're real people who can only do so much and they can't control timing for restocks!

Shopping early also gives you a higher chance of getting your items in time for the holidays. Remember the shipping delays of last year? Well, they're not entirely fixed. Shopping (and shipping) early is the best way to make sure your loved ones get their thoughtful gifts on time!

Crystal-infused Wellness Candle

2) RECOMMEND SMALL BUSINESSES TO YOUR FRIENDS

This one doesn't cost anything! Is an artist that you follow releasing a fabulous new line of jewelry? Is a maker you love hosting a sale on art prints? Help boost your favorite artists by sharing, commenting, liking, and/or saving their posts. Even if you aren't able to purchase something or don't need anything, saving their posts and sharing their information with others can help connect potential buyers with the small businesses that want to help make their gift-giving dreams come true. Some of my favorite gifts I have given were a result of a friend posting about a small business on their social media!

Swedish dishcloths from Me Mother Earth

 

3) WRITE SMALL BUSINESSES A REVIEW

Think of 3 local businesses that you love. Want them to stick around? Help them spread the word about their amazing products and services by writing them a review. Do they allow reviews on their site? Write them a nice note! Find them on sites like Google and Yelp and write them a glowing review. Not only will this warm their heart when they read your review, you'll also help people see how loved and important their business is!

Avoid writing reviews for businesses that didn't wow you or that you didn't enjoy. Write a review that's honest for your favorite small businesses. I encourage you to start with your favorite 3 and then go from there!

BLM Sticker from Bloomwolf Studio

4) BUY A GIFT CARD OR GIFT CERTIFICATE

If you don't know what your loved ones would want or you don't need anything immediately, consider purchasing a gift card or gift certificate from businesses and local restaurants that support that payment method. Gifting these are a great way to share in the small business love!

Have other ideas? Feel free to share them with us!

Thanks friends! We sure hope you have a successful holiday shopping experience. And if we don't carry something you're looking for let us know! We may be getting some options in or we would be oh so happy to connect you with someone who makes what you're looking for.

Cheers!

- Andrea

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