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15 Ways to Support Small Businesses (Even If You’re Broke)

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by Yovana

Small businesses have been there for every important moment of our lives.

When we got married, we hired the minister from a small business in Treasure Island, FL. I work with all small business owners when I hire out for my blog (like Kathleen who did my site redesign).

When we go to dinners with my family, it is always at a local restaurant and small business as we tend to stay away from chains.

Why Is It Important to Support Small Businesses?

So yes, small businesses are very important to us (I also own one myself). But why should you be supporting small businesses?

Small and local businesses create local jobs, provide unique experiences and unite the community. It’s a no brainer. Be there for your community and your community will be there for you.

Here are 15 ways you can support small businesses and be a cool human (even during social distancing or when you can’t afford to buy their products).

15 Ways to Support Small Businesses (Even When You Have No Money)

support small business in post image of coffee shop and worker in smock holding "open" sign.
Young startup owner at a small cafe shop.

You don’t have to buy anything to support small businesses either. However, your purchases are what pay small business owners, help that business to continue to pay its workers, go on with day to day operations, and go towards growing the business.

So if you DO have the money, purchase their gift cards (then share the love with your friends), dine with them, order take out from them, donate to them/tip them, and/or purchase their products.

If you are broke and have no cash to help your local small businesses, there are plenty of ways to support them without ever buying a single thing.

1. Like Their Social Media

If your favorite local and small businesses have social media pages set up, like and follow them all. It takes not even a second to click like or follow.

So if they have any of the following, go find their pages now and like/follow the hell out of them:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Etsy
  • Linkedin
  • YouTube
  • TikTok (for you kids out there..I’m old and lame now)
  • And more

2. Share Their Content

Don’t just like their social media pages, like and share their content they post on those pages too.

If they have an announcement for an upcoming event, share it out. If they are having a sale at their online store, share it out. Or if they are just posting what their special is for the day, share it out.

Don’t forget to like all of the posts that you share from them too.

3. Be Active on Their Social Media Accounts

The more engagement a post on social media has, the more that specific platform will show that post on the homepage/wall/whatever you call it.

Each platform’s algorithm is different but they all certainly have that in common. More engagement = more potential reach.

Not only like their page, like their posts and share their posts but comment on the posts and engage with them. It only takes one person to start an engagement train too so when you see posts on their pages with low engagement, you chiming in might get a lot of others going in and chiming in too.

4. Leave Them Positive Reviews on Google

If your favorite local small business has the option to leave them a review on Google, do it!

Be nice, give them 5 stars and some actual description in the review of why you love them so much.

It will make their day.

5. Visit Their Websites and Read Their Content

Many businesses like my own have a huge chunk of their revenue actually coming from their website. Their traffic stats is what helps them get sponsored deals and partner with bigger brands.

Go give them some love, read their articles and give them all the traffic you want.

6. Engage With Their Content, Leave Comments and Share The Love

While you are reading their articles and content, leave them comments like:

  • What you thought of the article
  • How you relate to it
  • What you did in X situation (X referring to whatever the article may be about)
  • Answer the question they have in the article
  • Encouraging thoughts about the article and what they’re doing

Then share out the article using their share buttons (if available) to your own social media. Make sure you tag them when sharing.

If they have an Etsy shop, share out your favorite listings and tag the shop.

7. If Their Website Serves Ads, View The Ads and Click On Them

While reading content on the business’s website, you might see a variety of ads. This is one of the ways the business makes money, by serving ads to readers.

They get paid per impression and per click so try and view all the ads and click some if you want. You don’t have to buy anything for them to get paid for those impressions and clicks.

8. Use Their Affiliate Links for Products and Services You Want to Use

When reading articles on the business’s website, those articles may be full of affiliate links (like this site you are reading now). When they promote products and services, they often use affiliate links when linking to that specific product or service (and this may also include a deal or free trial specifically with that link).

An affiliate link is when the publisher has a partnership with the brand to get paid commission on each action their readers make through the link (doesn’t always have to include a purchase and can include just signing up for something like a free app).

A great example is this Amazon affiliate link right here. If you want to support this website and my business in any way when you make your next order on Amazon – would you mind going through this link to do so? I’ll make a small commission and you go on about your normal life.

9. Watch Their YouTube Videos and View The Ads All The Way Through (Click Them If You Want Too)

YouTube creators are also a small business but many small businesses that do other things like restaurants, boutiques, etc also have YouTube channels to add income streams and boost their earning potential.

Watch their videos and try not to skip through the ads. They make more ad money the longer you view those ads and when you click them.

10. Tag Them on Social Media

When recommending your favorite small businesses to friends, family, whoever, do it loudly and proudly. Put it on social media and tag them.

Tag them when sharing their content and tag them when using their services or products. Or if you haven’t bought anything because you can’t for whatever reason, let them know you found them and love what they’re doing. And tag them!

11. Tell Your Friends About Them and Recommend Them

You don’t only have to resort to social media for letting everyone know about the coolest local small business. Word of mouth is just as powerful.

Is there a new yoga studio in town? Tell your friends. Maybe there’s a new coffee shop that isn’t a Starbucks? Tell your friends!

If someone is looking for something they can’t find in a big store like Target but you know a great small business that has that item, tell that friend ASAP!

12. Sign Up for Their Mailing List, Email List, and Free Products

I love it when I get new email signups more than anything. It makes me feel like people actually care and want to listen to what I have to say. It’s weird but amazing.

Small businesses thrive on the support of their customers, including non-monetary support. Sign up for their email lists, mailing lists and if they are giving free stuff away, take it! That’s how they get the word out.

You can sign up for mine below:

Get The Monthly Money Mashup

The last Friday of every month I send an email consisting of my favorite posts throughout the financial community, money-related news that helps you, helpful resources, tips, opportunities for free stuff like any giveaways going on, and more!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

13. View and Engage With Their Social Media Stories (on Facebook and Instagram)

As a somewhat awkward person myself, doing Facebook and Instagram stories is hard. It takes guts to go live and put yourself out there like that.

Let them know you’re there, listening and that they are doing great! Tap that heart icon while they’re talking and engage in the chat. Share the stories with others who also might enjoy watching.

14. Send Them a Message and Let Them Know How Much You Appreciate Them

If you have 5 minutes while you are on Facebook or Instagram one day, slide into their DMs (direct messages).

Let them know how much you love their business, mission and that what they are doing is amazing.

It’s one of the greatest feelings to get a message like that.

15. Partner With Small Businesses If You are Also a Business Owner Yourself

Lastly, if you are also a business owner yourself, think about partnering with a small business before hitting up one of the bigger agencies out there. That is what helps small businesses grow at the early stages, these kinds of opportunities that help them grow.

Be a Cool Human and Help Out Your Fellow Humans

When things get rough in the economy, small businesses are some of the first to suffer. Help them out and take a few seconds to minutes out of your day to show them love, no purchase necessary (but it wouldn’t hurt to also buy their stuff if you have the cashola).

Be a cool human and help your fellow humans out.

We’re all in this crazy world together.


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