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Newark and Sherwood: How to support local businesses hit hard by the pandemic as we emerge from lockdown

Small businesses on the high street are among the hardest hit economically because of the covid-19 pandemic.

More than half of small businesses have struggled to get any government support and many have lost their businesses.

Now is the time to help support each other and our local communities.

Open for business.
Open for business.

Here are some ways you can help support small businesses on the high street.

1. Take small but steady steps

If you haven’t bought much from small businesses before, be realistic in how much you can achieve. Sure, you could force yourself to go cold turkey and buy absolutely everything from small shops starting tomorrow but, often when we dive right into things we might feel a bit overwhelmed — which causes us to ditch our project entirely.

So, start by having a goal of buying your groceries local for week one, eating out local for week two, etc. By taking small steps we are far more likely to implement them into our routine to create meaningful and lasting change.

2. Look locally

If you are looking to support small businesses, you are more likely to continuously return if it is convenient for you to reach. So, on your next day off, take a walk around your neighbourhood and check out local restaurants and shops you might not have noticed before.

You can also use the power of Google or Yelp to search for shops close to you.

3. Talk about your findings

This one might seem obvious but never underestimate how much small businesses rely on word-of-mouth marketing. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about all the great local shops you’ve discovered.

You can also use social media to help them gain further awareness. Tag them on social media and let people know the great experience you have had with them.

4. Go a step further

Work in events? At a school? University? Is there any way you can influence where your company buys their supplies? This could make a huge difference to small businesses and might even be good for the image of your workplace. A win-win situation.

5. See the conveniences of small businesses

The main reason we don’t shop from small businesses is probably convenience — why go somewhere if you could order from Amazon?

However, if you look closely you will realise there are tons of benefits that come with supporting small businesses — seeing a friendly face, having some small talk, asking someone in store about certain products, and, of course, helping out the local community.

Following all or even just one of these tips could make a real difference to small business owners and their livelihoods. So, next time you go shopping — try to think locally.

Tips by MachineMerchant.

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