Handy tips for showing some love to your community

We’ve heard it a million times, but it is still just as true as it was 10 months ago… It’s a tough time to be a small business owner. Local businesses are at the heart of our communities – we’ve relied on them for years, and now they’re relying on us. The seemingly small choices we make as consumers can have big impacts for local entrepreneurs still trying to pursue their dreams.

Read on for practical tips (and some are completely free!) to support local…

How to Support Local
How to Support Local
Supporting Local Restaurants

We miss the experience of dining out at our favorite local restaurants – we know you do too! Even though restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges, and cafes can now be open for in-person service with restrictions (as of February 8), for some, it doesn’t make sense to open their doors right now. Neither are all of us comfortable with venturing out to dine yet. As such, we’ve got some tips for you regardless of if you’re dining out or ordering in.

If you’re planning on visiting a restaurant open for in-person service…
> Call ahead. Some restaurants are only open for reservations, others do allow walk ups. Even if you know the restaurant you want to visit allows the latter, it’s still a good idea to phone in advance. Maybe the restaurant you’ve been dying to visit is already at capacity – a quick phone call might save you some frustration, and gives the staff a useful heads up.

> Follow health & safety guidelines. Wear a mask, leave your contact information, and make sure you’re only dining with people from your household. Restaurants that have opened for in-person service are going out of their way to make your experience as smooth as possible; return the favor by playing by their rules.

If the restaurant you want to visit in-person is at their capacity…
> Consider what you’re actually looking for – the dine-in experience, or a desire to support a restaurant you really enjoy. If it’s the latter, think about ordering takeout or curbside pickup from them instead of going elsewhere. We’re craving the experience of dining out just as much as you probably are, but your favorite restaurant needs your support however you can give it.

If you’re planning on ordering takeout from a restaurant…
> Do some quick research on the different ways you can get takeout from them. A lot of restaurants have multiple ways they can get your food to you – Skip the Dishes/Uber Eats, delivery, curbside pickup, etc. Think about what the best option is to maximize dollars going back to the restaurant, and show your appreciation by leaving a good tip.

If you still want to support your favorite restaurant that may not be open yet…
> Buy a gift card! Show that restaurant how much you appreciate them by making a promise you’ll visit them when they do decide to open their doors.

If you’re looking for a new restaurants in the Leduc Region to discover…

Sushi Boat from the Sushi Factory - Leduc, AB
Sushi Boat from the Sushi Factory – Leduc, AB
Supporting Local Retail

Local stores have also had to adapt on the fly – new regulations, new capacities, and in many cases, new ways of making their products available to you. Here’s some ways you can show some love to them too:

Consider if you can get a “big box” purchase elsewhere…
> Oftentimes, you can buy exactly the same thing, or something that fills the same function, at an independently-owned, local store. A little bit of research goes a long way – you may discover a new brand or product you love even more than the “big box” version! The best part? The small business you bought that item from will appreciate the support.

Follow their rules and guidelines…
> It’s a very similar story to restaurants – local stores are going out of their way to keep their doors open, and the easiest way to show them support in-turn is by following their rules. Wear a mask, be mindful of physical distancing, and consider what in-store capacities look like – a little bit of patience goes a long way, and is often appreciated just as much as your business is.

Purchase a gift card or shop from them online…
> Local stores have shown time and again how committed they are to giving back to the community – many donate to charitable causes, sponsor local sports teams, and are the first to lend a helping hand. Even if you may not need their products now, you can purchase a gift card to show you’re committed to buying from them in the future.

> Shop from their online store! SO many local businesses have put a lot of time, money, and effort into making e-commerce options available – see if you can do your shopping online if you can’t make the trip in-person.

If you’re looking for new retailers in the Leduc Region to discover…

It's a Crock Country Store - Main Street Leduc
It’s a Crock Country Store – Main Street Leduc
Supporting the Fitness Industry

The fitness industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors, with many local businesses on the brink of shutting their doors (and some that have already done so, either temporarily or permanently). The ones that are still hanging on have shown incredible creativity and flexibility, moving to online platforms, adapting on the fly, and oftentimes re-writing their business plans overnight to align with new regulations.

It’s wicked cold outside – we’ve been going a bit stir crazy spending so much time at home, and you probably have too. So we’ve made a list of what 9 local fitness businesses are currently offering to get you moving:

1) True Touch Massage Therapy & Fitness
– 1 on 1 sessions (by appointment) + virtual classes
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

2) Aurora Yoga & Spa + Go FLOW Yourself
– Virtual yoga classes + online movement & mindfulness support community
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

3) 9Round Leduc
– Online workouts & resources + 1 on 1 sessions (by appointment) coming soon
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

4) Crossfit Leduc
– Online workouts & resources
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

5) Gone Strong Athletics
– Online workouts & resources + Rental space for families + 1 on 1 sessions (by appointment)
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

6) Snap Fitness Leduc
– Online workouts & resources + 1 on 1 sessions (by appointment)
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

7) Leduc Recreation Centre
– 1 on 1 sessions & facility use (by appointment) available through the Live Your Leduc app

8) Merriott Fitness Devon
– Online workouts & resources
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

9) The FIT Studio Devon
– Online workouts & resources
– Check out their Facebook Page for the most recent updates

Supporting the Fitness Industry
Supporting the Fitness Industry
FREE Ways to Support Local

We get it – times are tough for business, but they’re also tough for a lot of households too. You may not have the extra income to support your favorite local business right now, and that’s totally understandable. Here’s 4 ways you can still show your support without spending a single dollar:

1) Write a positive review:
> Online reviews are something a lot of us take for granted – we find them extremely useful as consumers when we’re deciding where to eat or shop, but often don’t take the time to fill one out ourselves. Even worse, some people take the positive experiences they’ve had for granted and only leave reviews on the negative ones.

> Leaving a positive online review for your favorite local businesses is one of the most powerful ways you can show your support! Write them a Google Review, then copy and paste that into a Facebook Review, a TripAdvisor Review, etc. Put it everywhere!

2) Engage with local businesses on social media:
> Now more than ever, local businesses are utilizing social media as they try to get the word out. But social media algorithms severely restrict the reach of business accounts – their posts just are not seen like personal posts.

> Follow your favorite businesses on social media! Oftentimes they’re active on multiple platforms – search for them and follow them on every platform.

> Like their posts, comment on their posts, and share their posts – use the reach of your personal account to boost what their business one can’t do

> Post about a great experience you had at your favorite local business, tag them in it, and use their hashtag – businesses love to see you advocate for them on social media!

3) Sign up for their mailing lists (and actually open + read them):
> A million emails in your inbox can be annoying, but email is often one of the most important ways businesses communicate with their customers. Show your support for your favorite local businesses by saying “yes, I do want to hear more from you”.

> Signing up for their mailing list is just the first step, actually opening and reading their emails is the second. Someone put hours of work into that newsletter sitting unread in your inbox, and who knows, there actually may be interesting stuff in there.

4) Spread the word to your friends & family:
> Maybe you discovered an awesome new restaurant, or maybe you had a phenomenal experience at a local store – don’t be afraid to tell other people about it! Our world is becoming more and more digital everyday, but the main way people still find out about things (and then actually decide to go and do them) is through word of mouth. Be an advocate for your favorite local businesses.

> Oftentimes, we’re quick to point out when we notice a local business make a small mistake following regulations. But what we almost never tell others about is when a local restaurant or store does a standout job complying with regulations. It’s the most effective form of social proof – let others know when you feel safe visiting a local business, and why.

FREE Ways to Support Local - Photo Credit: @YEGTweetUp (Twitter)
FREE Ways to Support Local – Photo Credit: @YEGTweetUp (Twitter)

Times have been tough, but we will make it through by showing empathy, compassion, and patience to one another. Let’s show our communities and our local businesses those same things.

One thought on “HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL

  1. I don’t know what social norms are regarding self promotion, so I’ll just post & trust the O.P to delete if not allowed.

    We’re launching a web service to help connect local businesses with local consumers. Launching March 1.


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