Support your community’s small businesses in big ways.

Love for our Philly community has never been needed more. While it’s always helpful to shop local and patronize small businesses, we’ve seen in recent months just how much of a difference that support can make.

Today, we’re sharing 7 ways you can support your local small businesses while eating well and stocking up on unique items!

1. Shop local.

Most businesses in Philadelphia have had to adjust their operations in some way to accommodate pandemic-related protocols. Some may have changed their opening hours or limited the number of people they allow indoors to ensure adequate social distancing. If you’re able to shop local in brick-and-mortar locations, do so as you feel comfortable. Yet, even if this isn’t an option, don’t let it stop you from browsing their wares.

Today, most businesses have an online presence and e-commerce options, where you can shop their full selection online! Others may allow you to place a pickup order for curbside service. Inquire about what’s available and look for ways you can support your local economy.

2. Eat local.

While the indoor dining experience might not look exactly as it did a year ago, restaurant owners are making accommodations to make your experience a pleasant one.

While it might be tempting to grab a quick bite on the way home from work, try to look for ways you can support your local restaurants, diners, and bakeries. Instead of zipping through a fast-food drive-through, why not pick up a freshly made meal from your favorite local cafe? If you’re celebrating a family birthday, you could order a cake from the family-run shop on the corner. In addition to purchasing ready-made meals, you can also peruse your local farmer’s market to look for locally grown produce to cook at home.

3. Gift local.

Yes, it’s tempting to click once and send all of your items right to your doorstep. However, nothing beats the quality and craftsmanship of a local gift.

For birthdays and holidays, consider eschewing the traditional big-box stores and look for gift ideas right down the road. A few great ideas include:

  • Gift cards to local shops and restaurants
  • Subscriptions to local newspapers or magazines
  • Memberships to local places (e.g. museums, theaters)
  • Handcrafted products from local artisans

Take the time to consider what your loved ones would like and see if there are any local shops that fit the bill. Or, walk in and ask about some of their top items. You might discover a new, little known favorite!

4. Share local.

Despite advances in digital marketing, word-of-mouth advertising remains one of the most effective ways for any business to gain new attention. If you love a local business, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops!

In addition to leaving feedback on websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Angie’s List, you can also share your experience on social media. Let others know exactly what you love about the shop or restaurant and why you’d recommend a visit.

These days, research shows that 91% of people regularly read online reviews, and 84% of people trust them as much as personal recommendations from their friends and family members. This is a quick and easy way to cast a spotlight on local brands, and they’ll appreciate the positive buzz.

5. Join local virtual communities.

The pandemic has forced local communities to get creative with their community groups and gatherings. While you might not be able to attend an in-person book club or workout session just yet, you can still connect with your neighbors over a shared hobby.

Check online for virtual communities based in your city and centered on common interests, such as fitness, crafting, or business networking. When you join, you’ll gain access to everything the group has to offer, which may include:

  • Virtual conferences
  • Recorded presentations
  • Online chat options
  • Resource libraries

This is also a great way to find online support groups that can help you maintain your emotional health during these trying times. When you plug into these communities, you can help others in your circle feel more connected and fulfilled too.

6. Pay it forward.

It goes without saying that there are many people in your community who might be feeling an immense burden right now. It can be impossible to know what someone is shouldering, but even the smallest acts of kindness can make a major difference.

Seek out opportunities to pay it forward and help your neighbors. This might mean going through your closet and donating a box of clothes to your local shelter. Or, you might feel led to pay for the cart in front of you at the grocery store.

Whether it’s a mighty gift or a minor one, any degree of altruism can bless and uplift those around you.

7. Check on your neighbors.

Researchers have explained that cravings for social connection can be as real as hunger pangs. Whether you live alone or run a full household, you might be feeling lonely and a little isolated. The same goes for others in your community, which is why it’s important to take time to check in.

Call your elderly loved ones and ask about their day. Place a video call to your friend down the road and invite her to join you for a virtual coffee date. Start a care group on social media to learn about any neighbors who might need help with basic tasks, such as grocery shopping or lawn maintenance.

Show some local love today!

Your community is your home. It’s where you sleep, eat, shop, and work. It’s easy to take it for granted in the fast pace of life, but if there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s the importance of slowing down.

While it’s important to shop local, it’s equally critical to reach out and give each other a virtual shoulder to lean on. Doing so can create a unified force that’s strong, resilient, and powerful.

As you look for ways to connect and give back, our dental family is here for yours. Get in touch today to learn more.

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