2020 has hit small businesses hard, and the hits keep coming this holiday season. With few people allowed in stores and some services and group activities shut down, it’s going to be even more important to rally around your favorite small business over the next couple of months.
The best way to support your community during the holidays is to continue to invest in small businesses.
Focus on businesses that have been hit the hardest
Business owners in the personal service industry are going to be particularly vulnerable this season because some have had to put their work – and their income – completely on hold. That would include hairstylists and barbers, personal trainers, massage therapists, and nail salons and spas.
These are businesses that rely on in-person interaction, so as COVID-19 cases surge in the U.S., they’re really feeling the strain.
As much as you can, continue to pay them as much as you would when we’re not in a pandemic. If there’s a business you love and you haven’t experienced a hit in income, prepay for some services, and then tip well when you can go back.
Give gift cards for the holidays to these businesses, especially to people in your life who could be potential new clients in 2021.
Shop Local to Support Your Community
As people are warier of going to actual brick-and-mortar stores, it can be very tempting to do all of your holiday shopping on Amazon.
This year, make a concerted effort to do most of your shopping through local stores. Many of these shops have a website to order through, or feature items on social media. Follow them or sign up for their newsletter to find deals or new products.
You can also lookup the chamber of commerce or other business groups for your area to find new businesses you might not have heard of before.
Finally, if you don’t have much money to spend this year, sharing your favorite businesses and their holiday sales and specials on social media can go a long way.
Restaurants, crafting businesses and specialty experiences (like escape rooms and party services) have had a tough time all year long. They rely on group, in-person activities, so the holidays will continue to be a difficult time to make money.
Experiences are fun to gift at any time, but this year they could be a lifeline for these businesses. Most places offer gift cards and certificates, so add them to your lift of great holiday gifts.
Donate to Your Favorite Outdoor and Educational Services
Places like museums, educational parks and zoos that rely on tickets and memberships have also struggled this year. Some have refunded annual passes if they weren’t open most of the year.
Consider donating your 2020 annual pass to support your favorite places, or gift one for 2021.
However you decide to shop this holiday season, think about which businesses you most want to return to once things open up again. One purchase might seem small to you, but for small business owners right now, every sale counts.
Support Your Community Charities
So many communities have had an especially hard year, and local support is their biggest source of help. Look into the charities in your area this year to find out what they need most. Whether it’s money, supplies, or volunteering your time, every bit helps.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes everyone should have access to financial resources and coaching. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.