In a time of great uncertainty, local business and small, homegrown brands have taken a big hit in the pandemic. While the rest of the world battles this threat, here’s how you can do a little to help out.
It’s been three weeks since the government implemented the enhanced community quarantine and the current situation is far from normal. The recent events each passing day have become more grim as IMF just declared global recession four days ago, throwing millions of people out of commerce and employment. It’s hard to plan ahead in these times of ambivalence, and the inevitable question is still a mystery—how will local business adapt to these changing times?
Even luxury houses are taking a huge hit (online luxury retailer Net-A-Porter just closed their e-commerce operations, LVMH and Hermès have witnessed a dip in their stock shares in a span of two weeks, including the suspension of their brick-and-mortar stores), just imagine the financial turmoil that small scale business-owners are experiencing right now. In this crisis, no company nor conglomerate has been spared, leaving brands and local business the option no longer selling and pushing for their goods, but instead focus on the collective effort on how to battle this unseen enemy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a vacuum and this means the playing field is being levelled. It’s a period that enables companies to pause and rethink their way of consumption. Is it a good idea to launch a business/product in this epidemic? How do you stay connected with your consumers? How do you innovate in tough times? What do you stand for and how do you impact the world beyond your products while remaining authentic? Trust us, it’s a lot to take in. But how can you play a part in keeping the small enterprises afloat amidst social distancing and economic decline?
The demand is high yet the supply is depleting, resulting to a massive shortage. This could also mean a longer wait on receiving your products and when it’s next re-stock will be. Without the help of million-dollar investors, the priority of each business owner is always to serve you no matter what cost and a little patience goes a long way.
Purchase And Connect Online
While some stores are still open (due to their status as an essential resource), shopping online helps in avoiding large crowds and flattens the curve. You might be surprised to see some well-loved items from your favorite brands (or even get a discount) by checking their website. Keeping the revenue open plays a big part especially with those who work with a skeletal staff.
It seems exhausting and complex having to map out the future of your business at this point, but there’s no better marketing analysis than hearing requests directly from the consumers and giving these brands a chance to provide what you need. This means trawling the world wide web, or even just on Instagram for brands that fit your vibe and taste, especially the local ones.
A great way to show support is by providing them with an honest review/great feedback on different platforms. In a gloomy situation, it pays to let them know they’re helping as many community members as they can. Don’t stop at being just a patron and consumer of local business, but instead, be an advocate for all that is homegrown.
Tip A Little More Than Usual
Financial assistance may be a sensitive topic to some, but any form of assistance could mean the world to someone who’s unsure how they’re going to put food on the table or pay their bills in the coming months. Whether it’s considering a small amount of donation or even cooking a meal for the employees, a little thank you gesture won’t hurt.
Switch to Sustainability
Sustainability is no longer an option, but a NEED and most local businesses and homegrown brands have always kept this at the top of mind. For the first time, people are finally starting to grasp its essence. It’s a conscious lifestyle, opting for choices that will last a lifetime and lessen the excess of the earth including the products, how it’s made, down to the suppliers and artisans who make it all happen.
Keep Tabs on Those Who Responded to the Crisis
What’s deadlier than the virus? People’s true colors. What we’re facing is history in the making. People will remember how you responded to the catastrophe and not how you pushed for sales so it’s important to take part in making a difference. It’s no longer about the product that you peddle as a local business, but rather your voice at the heart of chaos.
Innovation and creativity are huge key factors in survival, and it’s about time for commerce, such as local business and small brands to discern what is essential and what is superfluous to make a positive difference not only in the current scenario, but also for the future that lies ahead of us.