Local economies have been hit hard by COVID-19 and many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, since most non-essential services were required to temporarily close. As the province continues to reopen, now more than ever Canadian business owners are seeing the importance of community support, not only from residents but from other small businesses.
Here are a few ways local businesses can support one another during these unprecedented times.
Many residents have adopted a ‘shop local’ initiative to help vulnerable businesses. As of 2018, small businesses made up about 97.9 percent of the Canadian economy. It’s clear that local businesses are an internal part of our economy. That’s why it’s important for local businesses to also adhere to the ‘shop local’ initiative and support one another during these challenging times. Whether you need office supplies, repairs, or electronic upgrades, start by researching local companies in your area that offer what you need rather than immediately turning to big-box retailers and chains. If you’re a restaurant owner, you can improve the local economy by purchasing food from local farmers, who have also been greatly affected by the pandemic.
Celebrate each other’s successes with cross-promotion
Teaming up with other small businesses and forming a partnership through cross-promotion can be extremely beneficial to the overall success of your company. Given the current economy, many small business owners have been looking for creative ways to not only generate revenue but also retain customers. Cross-promotion allows companies to market to each other’s customers. This exposure will create brand awareness and help grow your base with very little cost. It also improves the local economy, as it will encourage residents to continue to shop within their neighborhood. It can be as simple as a congratulatory post on your social media when a local business near you reopens, or a more detailed strategy that could involve hosting Instagram Lives with other local business owners, mentioning each other in your marketing materials, or setting up a reciprocal referral program.
Be vocal about your involvement in the community
During these uncertain times, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. As a small business, creating relationships with fellow business owners and supporting one another is important, as you are all equally invested in the success and longevity of your community. Reaching out to other local businesses in your area and connecting is a great way to network, share your passions, and create friendships with like-minded members of your community who are facing similar hardships. Showing support of your community and your staff is also good for business! In a recent study, 53% of respondents feel ‘purpose-driven’ companies have fared better during the coronavirus pandemic, while 67% of young people want brands to keep them informed on how they’re supporting employees and the broader team. A lot of businesses have also been offering essential workers discounted or free services as a thank you. If your business can afford to do so, this is a great way to strengthen your relationship with residents, show you are committed to your community, and give back.
Here at Moya Financial, one of our core values is community. We pride ourselves on our strong and loyal membership and decades of service to the Southern Ontario Slovenian community. Our success has been a result of offering personalized financial services and cultivating a relationship-driven environment.
To learn more about our commitment to our community, discover our Giving Back program.