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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Support Your Local Businesses

May 28, 2020 12:00AM ● By Jackie Flaherty

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and businesses alike. Some businesses are thriving while many are hurting or struggling. Unemployment is at an all-time high. For those who are working or who have income through other means, it would be helpful to spend money at your community businesses.

For every $100 spent locally, 70 percent stays in the area. For that same $100 spent online (not to a local business), that money does not stay in the community, nor will the businesses remain that are currently here if they aren’t shown some love in the form of purchases.

Online sales are booming because people are home shopping, but this is not serving our local financial well-being. If you’re spending money on things you want and need, why not do it with discretion of where you want your money to go. If you’re not spending money except on essentials, then consider for the future where you will start spending your money when the time has come to purchase a non-essential. Consider businesses you drive by in your neighborhood, including local restaurants, gift shops, bookstores, florists, hardware stores–you get the idea. We are all aware that one person cannot do it all, but when each of us does something, those somethings add up and make a substantial difference.

What Can You Do?

1.     List your local shops and then see which ones are open to phone orders and/or have an online shopping option. Make a plan to get something at one of them each week or each month.

2.     Share your favorite stores with your social circle on social media, in an email request or some other format to encourage them to shop there.

3.     Buy gift cards and give them as gifts or save them for yourself to use later.

4.     Encourage others to list their own favorite places and ask them to share their list with you.

5.     If you belong to a church or an organization that can share and support the small businesses of its members, suggest that they share these businesses online or in their weekly or monthly newsletter to encourage them to shop local and support their club or congregant members.

6.     Find other ways to promote shopping local in your circle of influence and encourage others to do the same.

 Jackie Flaherty is a freelance writer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.