Times are challenging. No one needs a reminder of how different this year looks from last. More than ever small businesses need support. As a real estate agent with your finger on the pulse of your community, who better to reach out and help?

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How to Help Small Businesses? Use Your Connections! 

Local Cafés 

While we all have attachments to chain coffee shops, it is important to keep locally owned cafés in mind. In terms of economic impact, studies have shown that independent cafés generate $650,000 for their local economy, while chains only generate $300,000. With this in mind, there are many ways to support and build up local cafés. Some of these include:

  • Visit a different cafés each morning – you will love the feeling of becoming a regular
  • Feature local cafés in your monthly newsletter
  • Interview the owners for your various social media platforms
  • Find out what charities the cafés in your community support and how you can help
  • Incorporate café goodies in your welcome baskets
  • Restaurants

With all the changing restrictions, restaurants have been hit exceptionally hard. In the restaurant world, locally owned restaurants contribute 2.6 times as many local jobs as the chains. 

Here are some ways you can support local restaurants:

  • Order take-out and delivery
  • Buy gift cards
  • Spread the word on social media
  • Contribute to fundraisers
  • Offer a free meal from that restaurant for clients on moving day 
2021 Business Plan

Locally owned Bookstores

Locally owned retail shops face uphill battles, even during “normal” times. But during this COVID-19 pandemic, the battle is hard. However, it is important to keep locally owned retail shops open. While big box retailers only contribute 13.6 percent to the local economy, local retailers invest 52 percent, with 3.1 percent being charitable giving. Among the businesses feeling the impact of the pandemic are locally owned bookstores. Independent bookstores are faced with competition from bigger retailers and high overhead costs. 

Here are some ways to support locally owned bookstores:

  • Purchase books from locally owned bookstores
  • Purchase a gift card
  • Buy merchandise
  • Donate to a charity or relief fund
  • Feature a bookstore on your social media platforms

Local Charities

Operating a charity is difficult, but throw in a pandemic and the task is basically impossible. In fact, it is projected that with a threatened shut-down during a second wave, the sector is projected to lose $15.6 billion in revenue and about 194,000 employees. 

Here are some ways you can support local charities:

  • Volunteer your time
  • Donate to their various fundraisers
  • Connect local business with charities
  • Feature charities on your various social media platforms.

Bonus: Support Women-owned Businesses

Businesses run by women have struggled to get financial support. But 2020 has seen women facing the majority of job losses; 2020 has also seen a mass exodus of working moms from the labor force. In April, the number of working female business owners dropped by 25 percent.

Here are some ways you can support women-owned businesses as a real estate agent:

  • Buy from them
  • Feature strong women leaders from your community on your social media platforms
  • Find ways to partner with them
  • If you are also a woman, become a mentor to a local business owner

When you show your community that you care, you put yourself top of their mind.

References:

https://www.imaginecanada.ca/en/360/covid-19-threatens-devastate-canadas-charities

https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w27309/w27309

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