Supporting local businesses often means spending a little more money than you would while shopping at a big box store. Huge chains can charge lower prices because they have more negotiating power with manufacturers and wholesalers.
Buying locally, however, helps keep money in your local economy and often means getting higher-quality goods.
How can you support local businesses without breaking the bank? Start with these four ideas.
Take Advantage of “Shop Local” Discounts
Many communities have specific days when locally owned stores offer discounted prices. Small Business Saturday, for example, takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s a kind of small-business alternative to Black Friday.
Your area might also have small business discount programs that reward you for shopping locally. You pay a nominal fee to join the program. After that, you either get automatic discounts or accumulate points that you can apply to future purchases.
If you don’t know whether your community has a small business program, reach out to the Chamber of Commerce for more information.
Buy Gift Cards From Local Businesses
Getting more people to shop local is one of the most effective ways to support small businesses. Introduce friends, family members, and coworkers to your favorite local businesses by purchasing gift cards. The next time you need a gift for a special occasion, you can support a beloved local business while treating someone you care about.
Leave Online Reviews for Local Businesses
Have you had a really positive experience at a local business? Take a few minutes to go online and write a review that encourages other people to shop there. Simply posting a comment to the business’s social media account can have a positive effect. You can also go a step further by leaving a good review.
It may sound counter-intuitive at first, but leaving negative reviews can also help support local businesses. A negative review can do two things:
- Let the owner know that they have some problems to address so they can become a better business.
- Give businesses opportunities to reply about how they plan to address your concerns, which can improve consumer confidence.
- Point other shoppers in your area toward the best local businesses instead of letting them have negative experiences at businesses that don’t put customers first.
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving public reviews online, you can always talk to local business
owners about your experience. A great business owner wants accurate feedback so they can hone their approach and reach more customers. Keeping your mouth shut about a bad experience will not help them thrive.
Look for Local Businesses That Deliver With PigeonShip
Big box stores and large e-commerce sites often attract customers by offering fast, low-cost shipping. Local businesses can become more competitive by choosing PigeonShip for their delivery services.
PigeonShip has reasonably priced same-day shipping for small businesses. Some stores in your area might already use PigeonShip, so you can get items delivered to you quickly and safely. If the stores you love don’t use PigeonShip, recommend the local delivery service to owners and managers.
When local businesses can lower their delivery costs, they can pass those savings on to you. Once they start using PigeonShip, you don’t have to feel pressured to use national chains that offer faster, cheaper delivery. Your favorite local stores can fill the same service at the best rate possible!