The last few months have been difficult for everyone, but especially for small businesses. They’ve had to adapt quickly to new ways of working, taking their offering online, changing their ranges and learning new skills to stay open.
At Edinburgh Lockdown Economy we’ve seen so many local companies who are doing this well we wanted to share our ideas on how you can help support them during lockdown and beyond.
This doesn’t mean you have to get your wallet out! It’s wonderful if you can buy your friend a birthday present from a local business instead of a big chain store, but showing your love for local can also be as simple as spreading the word about great service or a new experience you’ve had from a bricks-and-mortar business that’s gone online.
So here are our five suggestions for ways you can help your local shops, services and businesses.
We all know someone who’s impossible to buy for and a gift card from a local business is a great solution. Vouchers can boost their sales and provide much-needed cashflow, plus it gives the gift recipient a chance to pick something unique for themselves.
Lots of shops are offering lockdown gift cards right now, so keep an eye out to grab a good deal. You can treat yourself or do some shopping for presents while you have the time. Stewart Brewing’s gift cards range from £20-£100 and can be redeemed any time in the next two years, whilst 27 Elliott’s have no expiration date. Use them now for treats, or let a friend pick out a cookbook.
Forget takeaway, many of Edinburgh’s best restaurants have taken their menus online and are offering delivery. If you're missing your favourite dining experience, try ordering from them and getting it delivered to your door. It could be the perfect weekend pick-me-up, or mean a much needed day away from the kitchen.
Lots of local shops have taken their products online over the last few months, like Armchair Books and Handbag Heaven Exchange. Edinburgh residents and beyond now have the chance to order something special that you previously would have had to go into town to buy.
Some businesses are offering free postage, with others providing curbside pickup and local deliveries. All the fantastic businesses here on our site have delivery info on their listings.
Did you know that something as easy as a shout out can go a long, long way?
If you've had a seamless ordering experience; if you received fantastic customer service; if the food you had delivered was delicious - give the business some praise on social media.
Social posts can spread like wildfire and word of mouth is the best marketing tool, as we all value our friends’ recommendations over what brands say. Plus you’ll be doing your followers a favour by letting them know about a great new thing!
Why not check in on your favourite businesses and see how they are doing? Drop them an email, pick up the phone or leave them a note. A little gesture and a human connection can really pick someone up and make them smile. It only takes a few minutes to let a business know you’re thinking of them and you could make their day.
Helping small businesses to grow and sell more through Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.Contact the author
The trio behind Hey Palu tell us how lockdown gave them the push they needed to launch their 'at home' cocktail delivery service.
Based in Haymarket, Pippin brings together the best of British design with friendly helpful customer service. Erica Stahl, the woman behind it, tells us how she set out to create something a bit different.