How to help small businesses

Lina Hayes Photography - Glen Coe, Autumn
Photo by Lina Hayes Photography

With all the self isolating and social distancing that’s going on, small businesses have been the first to suffer. So, below you’ll find tips my friend Lina and I put together on how to help small businesses through this. But, step one is to take care of yourself. Try not to panic. Take some deep breaths and time away from the internet, give yourself the space you need to recenter. Then, when you’re ready and want to learn what we can do to support the people we love and their businesses, read below.

I’ve worked with Lina Hayes on this blog post, Lina is an incredible photographer and a kind soul. She was the first person to give me some concrete tips on how to help small businesses. As a wedding photographer, she also has some insights on what to do if your wedding is planned for the next few months (like mine). Here’s what Lina has to say…

No matter what is happening in the world, we may not have control over the situation; we do have control over how we treat each other and how we choose to support each other. 

How you can support other small and independent businesses:

  • Supermarkets are sold out of many products, but the local greengrocers, wholefood and health food shops have toilet paper and plenty of full shelves. Go support them! 
  • Most small and local farms offer online delivery
  • Many cafes and independent shops are offering deliveries, care packages and gift vouchers that will arrive straight to your door
  • Organise a delivery from a small business for a friend who needs cheering up
  • Take the time to write a review for a business you support
  • There is always a person behind the business, so treat everyone with respect, no matter how frustrating the current situation is

I can also understand how disappointing it must be for couples out there who have had to cancel their wedding after planning and looking forward to it for so long. I completely feel for you too. 

What couples getting married can do:

  • Be flexible with your dates and work with vendors on a backup plan. I believe in working together in times like these to help support each other and make everything run as smoothly as it can. Most wedding vendors are part of supportive communities who are ready to help and step in if needed. 
  •  Postpone your wedding instead of cancelling. Postponements are normal. Life is unpredictable, and it is ok to postpone to a date where you can truly enjoy the experience. 
  • Don’t freak out, give up and cancel everything. For those in the early stages of planning a wedding, you can still keep planning and book vendors. 
  • If you have been thinking of purchasing an album from your photographer, now is a great time. You will be supporting multiple businesses (photographer, album makers, supplier of materials). I’m sure plenty of people have some extra time at home right now to sit down and choose their images for an album. 

What I’ll be doing

It’s been tough when trying to think how to help small businesses in my own life. While I want to pick up a coffee from my favourite coffee shop, Tea & Sympathy, every day, I know that I’m losing my own source of income in less than a month. So, isolation or no isolation, I can’t afford it. Instead, these are the things I’m doing to support local businesses:

Small business of the week – On my Instagram, I’ll be picking one of my favourite small businesses to feature on my stories and in the captions of my grid posts every Friday. It’s a bit of positivity and hopefully will put them in front of someone with cash to spend!

Spending where I can – I mean, at one point I will be buying a coffee. So for the foreseeable future, if I’m spending any money, I’m spending it at a small business. Bigger businesses have investments that they can fall back on at times like this, but small businesses rely more heavily on their day to day sales.

Spreading awareness – It’s always been my policy to re-share those small businesses I come across that need an extra boost. Whether it’s retweeting a tweet or putting a small business in a gift guide, a little goes a long way.

Do you have tips on ways to help small businesses? Leave them in the comments below!

You can find Lina on Instagram, browse her portfolio on her website, or contact her here.

Click here to navigate my website.

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