Manchester Social Responsibility Student-made

A budget-friendly student guide to supporting local businesses

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on many small businesses and, even with the government’s support, many have struggled to stay afloat. By shopping local, we can all support the independent businesses that contribute to the uniqueness of wherever we live. However, as students, funds are often sparse and so I have put together five ways that we can lend a hand without splashing the cash.

  1. Leave a 5-star review

Positive reviews showcase a business’s legitimacy and help them attract new customers. If you have had a good experience utilising a service or purchasing a product, do not forget to write about it online. Not only will a good review assist businesses reach new audiences, it will give them a boost of moral during times of difficulty.

  • Share your experiences with others

Word of mouth is extremely important to small businesses because they do not have the same advertising capabilities as large corporations. And so; share, share, share!

  • Engage with businesses online

Liking a business’s social media page is ok but interacting with them is even better; algorithms on platforms like Instagram rank posts higher based on the number of saves, shares and comments that they receive. No matter how many followers you have, do not underestimate the power of sharing a post because one of your followers could be that businesses’ next customer.

  • Send a personal message

With the limited sale opportunities small business have, they will certainly be feeling uncertain about the future. If you have a favourite store or café, why not send them a personal note to let them know you are thinking of them and supporting them from afar.

  • Offer to help out

Businesses’ have had to adapt pretty quickly by moving sales online and learning to market themselves in a whole new way. If you have the time and energy to spare, why not consider lending a helping hand.

  • Plan to buy local for future purchases

Even if you cannot afford to purchase a new houseplant or a handmade piece of jewellery right now, plan to make future purchases from local businesses rather than large corporations. Could you source future birthday presents from an independent shop? Or could you buy groceries from a local farmers market rather than a large supermarket store?

Now that you have some ideas on how to support independent businesses, it is time to put them to good use. Remember that, every little helps!

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