How to Support Local Businesses

By Nextdoor Canada

Small businesses form the heart and soul of our communities. From your local restaurant down the block to farmers markets to mom-and-pop stores, local entrepreneurs and businesses are the lifeline of neighbourhoods. In addition to providing goods and services, these businesses often create jobs for neighbours. 

As a result, supporting small businesses can be one of the best things you can do for your local community.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to support small businesses and shops locally. That way, you can do your part to help your community grow.

1. Shop locally

Shopping locally means purchasing goods and services within your neighbourhood—not from large corporations. 

For example, a local shopper might purchase groceries from a family-owned grocery store, employed with members of their own community. By doing so, the local shopper puts money directly back into the local economy. 

In recent years, local shopping has made a big comeback. In fact, nearly 70 percent of consumers in Canada and the U.S. preferred to shop locally in 2020. Pre-pandemic, 88% of neighbours frequented a local business at least once a week. Now, more neighbours are making it a priority to support local businesses. Here’s how shopping locally can support small businesses:

  • Puts money into small business owners’ hands
  • Strengthens the local economy
  • Encourages other local entrepreneurs to start businesses
  • Builds more personal connections between consumers and local small businesses
  • Creates more local jobs

Nextdoor is a global company, in 11 countries and 330,000 neighbourhoods around the world. One of the best ways to shop locally is to support local small businesses that source products from area farmers. Hungry Coyote, a comfort food restaurant in  Lahaina, HI, uses Nextdoor to connect with farmers and source local produce. Shopping locally has twice the impact.

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2. Spread the word

While positive referrals and reviews can benefit all businesses, they can do even more for local small businesses. That’s because local small businesses often lack the funds for extensive marketing campaigns and rely on word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Spreading the word about local small businesses can help small businesses market, grow, and attract more potential customers. Here are a few ways to support small businesses through word-of-mouth marketing:

  • Talk about the local small business with your friends and neighbours
  • Wear the local small business’s branded clothing 
  • Write positive reviews about their goods and services
  • Post updates about the local small business on social media

While all of the above are excellent strategies, writing reviews and recommendations can be the most powerful. That’s because reviews and recommendations provide a first-hand account of interacting with a local small business.

If you want to write a review or recommendation, platforms like Nextdoor can help get the word out to others in your community. With Nextdoor, not only can you find and connect with local small businesses, you can leave recommendations to boost their reputation and encourage other people to support them.

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3. Buy gift cards and certificates

Gift cards and gift certificates can help local small businesses in two ways. In addition to investing in the local business now, gift card holders are pledging to support the business later. This source of income can be especially beneficial to businesses that may need to shut down operations momentarily. Plus, if you give gift cards to friends or neighbours, the business could gain a new loyal customer.

You might also consider joining any local small business loyalty programs. While loyalty programs aren’t in the same category as gift certificates, they still represent a commitment to support the business.

4. Attend local small business events and seminars

Some local small businesses hold events and seminars to teach community members about their industries. Attending these events is a fantastic way to support these businesses. In addition to walking away with knowledge, you may be able to purchase their goods or services.

Many local small businesses also host and participate in charity events. By attending these events, you can help support the charity and the local small business.

Nextdoor recently hosted a webinar with tips for small businesses to survive and thrive in an inflationary environment. Small business owner Helen Russel of Equator Coffee in Marin, CA shared, “Building relationships, and leveraging everyone around you is the best way to run a business, and it’s really about community and we’re all in this together.” Simply being present during informative sessions like these can let small local businesses know that you value their time, effort, and willingness to teach.

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5. Meet your local small business owners and employees

Your local small business owners and employees likely wear many hats. In addition to providing excellent goods and service, they might be parents, volunteer firefighters, or sit on the local school board. 

Meeting these community leaders and discovering who they are is an excellent way to show them that you care. Here are a few ways to meet your favorite small business leaders:

  • Become a regular at your favorite local small business
  • Comment and react to business posts on Nextdoor and social media
  • Introduce yourself to the small business owners and employees
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Support local small businesses with Nextdoor

When it comes to supporting local small businesses, every little bit helps. That includes shopping locally, writing reviews, and making an effort to meet the neighbours behind the business. Nextdoor connects neighbours with each other and everything nearby, including your community’s local small businesses. Help your favorite local business become the next success story.

On Nextdoor, small and local businesses are a core part of the neighbourhood. You can leave recommendations for your favourite businesses, discover new spots by exploring your feed, find local deals and business events, and stay up-to-date with information about the businesses nearby. 

Whether you’re a passionate local shopper or a community organizer, engage with your local small businesses on Nextdoor Canada. If you’re a local business owner hoping to connect with the community, get started by claiming your free Nextdoor Business Page today.

To connect with your local neighbourhood, download the app or login at nextdoor.ca.

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