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Shop online and buy gift vouchers: Exactly how to help small businesses right now.

As COVID-19 forces many of us into social distancing and self-isolation, the impact on small businesses and self-employed creatives is enormous.

In fact, streaming companies and toilet paper manufacturers might just be the only businesses benefiting from the global pandemic COVID-19.

While large businesses are no doubt also feeling the strain, the ‘big guys’ can fortunately handle it. It won’t be easy, of course, but they are in a much better position than small, local businesses to handle the loss in foot traffic and purchases.

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Here are some simple ways you can support small businesses at this time.

Shop local.

Social distancing means you should avoid venturing out unnecessarily, but if you need to stock up head to small, local stores where you can: Butchers, grocers, bakers etc.

 

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Fresh Certified Organic fruit and veg coming your way!

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Plenty of communities also have fruit and veggie delivery services, which can deliver straight to your door.

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Order online.

Simple, yet definitely the most effective way to support your favourite small businesses and creatives is to purchase something online.

While social distancing has meant many ways local creatives and businesses sell their products – through markets, for example – are closed, buying online can help make up the shortfall.

 

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Check out the Lady Startup store, a business’ website, Etsy or Instagram and order that print you’ve been eyeing up for a while, or give in and finally grab that new handbag.

Buy a gift card.

With more and more offices telling their staff to work-from-home, and socialising being kept to a minimum, local cafes, restaurants and brick and mortar stores are already feeling the pinch.

 

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You may not be around to purchase your daily latte from the cafe beside your work, grab a new skirt from the shiny lady startup down the road or hit the local for Friday evening’s weekly debrief with colleagues, but there are other ways to help.

Do they do gift cards? If so, inquire about buying one. Sure, you may not be able to use it for a while, but it’ll help them with cash flow while things are slow.

Share, like, comment.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to show your support for small businesses on social media.

 

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A little bit of brightness in these uncertain times. ????☕️???? As a creative, maker and small business it is definitely an overwhelming period in time at the moment – but we’re doing everything we can to stay positive! ???? We’re very lucky to have a home studio so we’ll be making away as usual (to be honest in busy times we’re practically self isolating anyway! ????) We’ve already had our first market of the year postponed so we’ll be making even more pieces for our upcoming online releases in the coming months! ⚡️???????? We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support (now and always! ????) and we’ll be continuing to support our favourite small businesses as always too! ✨???????? I hope our little pieces of clay magic bring some joy to your lives today and every day! Keep your eyes peeled for our release email coming to your inboxes THIS WEEK! ???????????? ~ #ceramics #handmade #travelcup #publicholiday #stoneware #byo #reuse #waronwaste #coffeecup #pottery #pattern #clay #takeaway #slowliving #supporthandmade #shopsmall

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A share, a like, a comment and a follow may seem small, but it can make a huge difference. It’s like word of mouth on steroids, and with so much dependant on confusing algorithms, increased engagement can go a long way to getting posts on the timeline and discover pages of others. This is essentially free, user-driven marketing that can lead to new customers.

So, hit that like button.

Check in on business owners.

Running a business is hard at the best of times, so it should come at no surprise that small business owners are doing it tough right now.

Check in on them, flick them a message, ask if there’s anything they need or simply let them know you’re thinking of them and sending positive vibes. When times are tough, keeping a sense of community and spreading kindness can go along way to making someone’s day a little less difficult.

Feature images: Instagram/@ladystartups and Getty.

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