BBB Tip: How to Support Small Businesses during Coronavirus

sorry we are closed sign hanging on a window door outside a restaurant, store, office or other

Practical Ways to Support Small Business:
Buy a gift card for later: Many small businesses that have had to close are offering gift certificates at discounted rates for when they open back up. Look on business’s websites and social accounts.

Skip the refund and take a rain check: If you paid in advance for an event, such as theater or concert tickets, a class, or a service, consider taking a credit for the future instead of asking for a refund. These businesses will appreciate not needing to issue so many refunds right now.

Commit to future work: While right now may not be the best time to start that home renovation project, your contractor will appreciate you committing to future projects when business opens back up. The same goes for any future event or project. See BBB’s tips for hiring a contractor.

Shop (local) online: Local shops and vendors may have closed their (physical) doors, but many still run online shops. Look for them on social media or check the business's website for links to their online marketplace.

Look for virtual classes: People who work in training or professional development – this can be anyone from your personal trainer to the person teaching your office’s public speaking workshop -- are finding creative ways to move their instruction online. Even though your local gym is closed, your favorite yoga teacher may be hosting a live class online. Same goes for people who offer professional trainings. Now may be a good time to brush up on your skills through an online course.

Get take-out or delivery: Many restaurants and breweries are now offering takeout even as they close their dining rooms. Support these local institutions by getting your food or drinks to-go and enjoying it at home.

Not everyone has the financial resources to pay in advance. So if your own wallet is feeling the pinch, here are some free ways to support small businesses.

Write an online review: This is a good time to finally get around to reviewing your favorite local business. These five-star reviews do help companies rank well in search engines and on other listing services, This is an easy, free way to show your favorite small businesses that you support them. Write a review on BBB.org now.

Like and share on social: Help your favorite business reach a broader audience by liking and sharing their information on social media. This will help them reach future customers and gain more exposure.

Tell your businesses that you appreciate their work: These are tough times! Keep moral up by reaching out to the businesses in your community and letting them know that you appreciate their hard work.