The New Year can bring on new problems for small businesses. Why? Because consumers supported them during the holidays and give their wallets a break in January. Whether you have 2 or 2,000 followers on social media, your endorsement for a business will influence others. It may even motivate them to influence their networks, too! This year, we encourage you to make a New Year’s resolution to support local. Here are 12 easy ways you can do so.

  1. Create a video that highlights your favorite small business. First, select a business. Next, contact the owner and ask them for an “interview.” If it’s a brick and mortar, visit the business and take video of the store, products and experiment. Finally, put the video together using an app such as InShot and post it to social media. Be sure to send the file to the business so that they can share it too! 
  1. Create a Birthday Gift Guide showcasing items from your favorite small businesses. First, select five businesses. Next, pick one or two products from each business to feature. Finally, put the list together and create the guide. It can be a video, collection of photos, or a write-up. Share it with your friends and family, as well as your social media accounts and be sure to tag the business.
  1. Buy a gift card for your favorite small business. Do have a local business you frequent? Rather than paying each time you visit, budget in your visits for the month and buy a gift card for that amount. Take it a step further and surprise a friend or family member with a gift card to visit the business, too.
  1. Write a review! Did you know that an online review can be the first search results a consumer sees for a business? Your feedback matters and taking a few minutes to write your favorite businesses a review will help them significantly. Simply write a review and then post it on Yelp, Google, Facebook and share on social media. 
  1. Offer to volunteer. Do you have some time on your hands? You can help your favorite small business by volunteering your time! Reach out to the owner and offer your assistance. It could be writing content marketing for them, volunteering at their business, spreading the word locally for them, or helping them with their products! 
  1. Host A Sample Party. Get a group of friends together for a “sample party.” It can be virtual or in-person. Each attendee must select five businesses and create a guide featuring items from the business to share with the rest of the group. Take it a step further and host a gift exchange to support the businesses.
  1. Create a social distance scavenger hunt. Select five local businesses and create a scavenger hunt with your friends and family to support the business. Create clues for each business such as “this business has the best coffee in town. Buy a cup and let us know what you think!” During the scavenger hunt, have participants share their discoveries on social media and tag the business.
  1. Create a plan to support local businesses through 2021. Do you get takeout once a week? Create a list of local businesses to support for takeout. Do you have birthday parties coming up? Create a list of your favorite gift shops to choose from while you shop. Need a caffeine kick? Create a list of 10 local coffee shops to visit in 2021.
  1. Photograph your favorite local businesses. Next time you visit your favorite local business, take some pictures and videos. Take photos and videos of the business, the environment, the products and the staff. Share them on your social media and send them to the business to use. They will appreciate the content.
  1. Are you a part of Facebook groups? Do you have a Nextdoor account? Both of those platforms are an excellent way to support a small business. Many Facebook groups will post “business feature” posts once a week where a business can promote themselves. Next time you see that, jump in and share your favorite businesses. Then, be sure to follow the businesses featured in the comments too. The same goes for Nextdoor! 
  1. Send a handwritten thank you to your favorite business. Sometimes a business owner just needs a little boost of confidence. 2020 was a tough year and small businesses are doing everything they can to stay afloat. It would mean the world to an owner to receive a thank you card in the mail.
  1. Start a shop local chain with your friends and family. Select a group of local friends or family who want to participate and create a text chain where you recommend a local business as you discover one. Be sure to encourage them to share on social media as well.

For more ways to support local, follow Arizona Influencer on social media and keep an eye for the website to launch in 2021. Instagram: Instagram.com/ArizonaInfluencer; Facebook: Search “Arizona Influencers” to find our private Facebook group; Twitter: twitter.com/AZInfluencer Coming Soon: ArizonaInfluencer.com.