Did you know in the United States, roughly two out of every three jobs are created thanks to small businesses? Worldwide, small- and medium-sized enterprises represent 99% of the global economy. Supporting these microenterprises has far-reaching impacts for millions of people! But where to begin? Here are some tips for how to support small businesses--both those near you and around the world.
Choose locally sourced cuisine.
Whether it's through your local farmers' market, community-supported agriculture program, or a local, independently owned restaurant, eating and buying food is one of the easiest ways to support small businesses. But you don't have to limit yourself to food in your own neighborhood! We're big fans of companies like Farm to People, which supports small-batch producers through a monthly box of humanely made, artisan food items. On a related note...
Don't limit yourself to small businesses near you.
There's a whole world out there of small businesses waiting to be discovered by customers like you. Marketplaces like Etsy help connect you to small vendors from all over the world. Bonus: You expand your horizons (from your style to your culinary tastes) when you support global small businesses.
Harness the power of social media.
With social media, it’s easier than ever to tell your friends about your favorite local restaurant, bookstore, or other business. If you liked one of their products or services, share the good vibes. If the business has an online social media presence, "Like" their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, etc. Your online support helps a broader network find and seek out these businesses.
Write an online review.
Most small business owners can’t compete with the marketing budgets of larger companies, but writing positive reviews on sites like Yelp is a great way to help the business gain exposure. Sites like Yelp can be great public relations tools for business owners. Side note: Yelp reaches more than 85 million people each month and roughly 90% of Yelp users say positive reviews affect their purchases. There's power in positivity!
Share with your friends and family the important role small businesses play.
Teaching your friends and family about the impacts of small business might sound corny, we know. But who knows: You might be encouraging a future entrepreneur, putting a spark into the next generation of small business owners.
Allocate part of your budget to supporting small businesses.
Shopping habits can be hard to break (especially when Amazon Prime can send almost anything to your door in two days. Sigh.). It might be easy to grab something at the chain supermarket, hardware store, or department store that's stocked with the product you need. A great way to form a habit to shop local is to allocate a percentage of your budget to be spent at local businesses. If you're considering a subscription box as your way of shopping small, check out our blog post which includes tips for fitting a box in your budget.
Do you have other tips for how to shop small? We'd love to hear 'em!