When you support a local business, you support a dream, a story, and a family. You support creativity, ingenuity, along with all those late nights and early mornings. The most incredible aspects of shopping locally don’t just lie within the quality of the products they make, or the wonderful services that they provide with a smile. What makes them special is that they all have a story to tell. The story of a single idea, an idea that came while on a walk in the park or inspired by a cherished loved one. These ideas then blossom into reality, and a local business will operate while remaining true to the integrity of what the idea once was, ensuring each product is crafted the way in which they were initially intended to be crafted.
Neau Collective stands to whole-heartedly encourage our local Australian and New Zealand businesses so that they thrive at their full potential. We recognize and wish to re-establish the significance of shopping locally, while aligning our values with those of the hard working, passionate business-owner who never gave up on their brilliant idea. Despite the challenges that 2020 has thrown our way, this year has allowed local artists and business-minded individuals to focus on crafting premium quality goods that are made with the upmost love and care.
Our post- COVID19 world includes shifting our consumer buying power from an international to domestic demographic, supporting our trusted locals rather than relying on multi-national corporations that produce standardized goods overseas. Now is the time to stand by our local craftspeople, creatives, farmers, manufacturers, and retailers as well as the beautiful stories they have to offer.
Here are some simple ways to keep supporting your local businesses and help increase their visibility within your communities.
Purchase gift cards.
Purchasing a gift card from your local coffee shop or candle maker not only supports that business financially, but it also helps spread the word about the products or services they offer. Gifting these to your loved ones is bound to start a conversation and raise awareness about the business. So the next time you really enjoy a locally brewed cup of coffee, or like the style of an upcoming fashion boutique in your area, be sure to ask them if they offer gift cards or vouchers!
Refer a friend.
Alright so the local business only opened quite recently, and they don’t yet offer any gift cards. There is no harm in spreading the word yourself! Refer their products or services to your friends and family, this is also bound to start a conversation within your community about them. It’s as simple as saying “oh I know a really good new boutique down the road that sells the most adorable face masks”, a reference we probably wouldn’t have used in 2019, but there you go!
Talk & post about them on your social media.
This is the new era of social media, not a day goes by where we don’t see someone glued to their screens, engaging with emails or their twitter feed. Post about your new local business on your social media platforms and start a virtual conversation! This can include writing a post about them, featuring them in a story or tagging them to promote their business. Often you can find community Facebook pages that are dedicated to the promotion of local shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Consider supporting a small business rather than big corporations like Amazon or E-Bay.
We’ve all been there, about to spend most of our last paycheck on a bunch of standardized items online from some big international brand. Sure, you know they’ll get to your house on time, but before you proceed to checkout, think about whether you have some locals in your area that could provide you with similar items, but of much better quality and more unique. Not to mention, you would be supporting a local family or hard-working individual as apposed to a corporation that’s already worth millions of dollars- something to think about!
Volunteer to help them out.
This one is for my fellow hands-on individuals who are ready to help, it’s not for everyone, but it’s an option! Introduce yourself to a small local business who might be struggling, or maybe you just really like their values and products. Offer your help a few days a week to boost morale and encourage sales, you could even offer to hand out flyers for a few hours a week.
Sign up for a CSA to support local farms and consider grocery shopping at local markets and niche grocery stores.
CSA, or community- supported agriculture, is an Australian model of food production and distribution that connects farmers and those who eat their produce. This way, you are able to buy shares in a farms’ projected harvest in advance for a set period of time, and receive regular deliveries of whatever they grow- how amazing is that! It might be quick and easy to pop into your local grocery store but consider purchasing at least a few items from your local farmers market or smaller grocery stores. It is a great way to show your support, and the quality of their fresh produce is usually unmatched.
Leave a positive review.
This one speaks for itself, leaving positive feedback if you enjoyed your experience or appreciate the quality of the items is always a great way to show your support. Reviews really do make all the difference, it’s usually where people look to first when wanting to know more about a new local business. Encourage others to check it out, leave a little comment or two on their page or community forum!
Let’s change the way we shop. Keep it local, keep it ethical, and keep it up!