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Why You Should Support Small Local Businesses During Lockdown
Uncertainty and dread are the universal emotions among most small business owners right now. While it's still too early to estimate how badly the COVID 19 pandemic will affect our economy in the long run, we do know that small businesses will probably be hit the hardest. We can already predict that these businesses may soon face a liquidity crisis, which could wipe out whole segments of our economy.
In the next few months, small businesses will face challenges such as loss of business due to remote working; and for those that haven't embraced digital technologies, the sad truth is that they may not recover from this lockdown. Industries that have been hit the hardest include engineering, manufacturing travel and tourism, hospitality and accommodation, food services as well as event suppliers.
While there are certain things that SME owners can do to adjust to COVID-19, they are going to need support from suppliers, consumers and the general public – even if they are not operating during this time.
Why should we support local SMEs specifically?
We need to support small businesses for the following reasons:
- The effects of the lockdown have hit them the hardest and left them with less disposable income. Having fewer possible clients than bigger corporates significantly lowers their chance of survival.
- Local businesses are essential to our economy and bring growth and innovation to our communities.
- They provide employment and inspire other entrepreneurship opportunities.
- They know their clients on a more personal level and develop closer connections with them.
How can we support small businesses right now?
- Purchase something from a local SME's online store (even if delivery is promised after lockdown) as opposed to buying from a more prominent online retailer.
- If you had purchased a service or product from the local business before and were happy with it, consider giving them a review on social media. Facebook reviews are the new digital customer service platform of choice since they are public and can be easily found by potential new customers.
- Sign up for newsletters on SME websites that render products and services you are interested in purchasing in the future. This is a great way to stay up to date on products, services, specials, discounts, competitions and articles.
- Follow small local businesses and SMEs on social media.
- If you had planned on travelling, don't cancel your plans. Rather postpone and move your travels plans to a later date.
- If you require medication and pharmaceutical goods, call up your local pharmacy and see if they are open and operational during the lockdown.
- If you need fresh fruit and veg, get in touch with smaller grocers in your area and see if they are open so you can purchase from them.
- Consider buying gift cards from smaller online stores for birthdays and special events coming up.
- Don't feel like cooking? Call up one of your favourite restaurants and see if they are offering take out or frozen food services.
- Find out if any of the businesses you usually support now offer online services. For example, if you know of any yoga or Pilates instructors, as well as teachers for academic and extra-curricular lessons for kids, it might be a good idea to get in touch with them. Some therapists, lawyers, and financial planners may also be offering their services online.
Some of our favourite SMEs and Entrepreneurs we are supporting during the lockdown
Don't know of any small businesses? Here are a few that you can have a look at:
Food and groceries
- Urban Foods - Sandton based fresh fruit and veg delivery. Open during the lockdown.
- Sloane Meat Market – Premium meat supplier, open for delivery and collection from their Fourways or Bryanston stores.
- Old Town Italy Restaurant (Menlyn) – Italian grocer and deli, offering fresh food, meat and baked goods.
- Vegetable seedlings delivered to your home – Vegetable seedlings delivered to your home.
- Garden Mecca – Online gardening store, delivering in Gauteng.
Clothing and accessories
- SassyChic – Women's Clothing and Beauty Products.
- Heart Stuff – Women's bohemian fashion.
- Shop Fomo - Ladies' and Men's fashion, fragrance, skincare and home décor store.
- Mantality - Online store for fashion, grooming, gadgets, gaming, and so much more. They also offer lockdown essentials such as masks, gloves etc.
- Steel Monkey Clothing - Proudly South African clothing brand for ladies and men. Now also providing reusable face masks.
- To Be Gift Boxes - Corporate and event gift boxes.
- Hello Pretty - Designer and artisan marketplace with a variety of clothing, baby items, home décor, jewellery and more.
Blogs and tutorials
- Khanyi Madikiza - South African beauty YouTube blogger living in Dubai. Khanyi hair, makeup and lifestyle tips.
- @kristin_lee_pilates - a BASI qualified Pilates instructor based in Parkhurst, offering personalized online group and private classes over Zoom.
If you have a small business and need help marketing it over this period of lockdown, reach out to us at www.arcinteractive.co. You can also follow Arc Interactive on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to share any small businesses you may be supporting with us on our social media.
About the author
Zanthe is a former designer and HTML web developer turned digital marketer based in Johannesburg with an acute eye for detail and a creative spark, she decided to pursue a career in graphic design. After qualifying, she worked as a designer and developer for a few years and then began studying marketing whereafter she found her niche in digital marketing.
Zanthe has since been doing digital marketing work on some big brands such as ABSA, Russell Hobbs, Danone Brands, as well as non-profit organizations and now works as the New Business Manager at Arc Interactive based in Johannesburg. When she isn't glued to her computer screen - blogging or making the digital connection between her clients and their customers, she spends time playing with her two cats, stays active, keeps her finger on the pulse regarding the latest trends in fashion and food, and tries hard not to be the worlds worst tennis player.
Tell us your story
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on coronavirus.
- Small Businesses That Can Go Digital During The Lockdown
- 10 South African Sites Selling Essentials Online
- Trends In COVID-19 Affected Organic Search Results
- Marketing Tool Discounts Due To COVID-19