During COVID-19, local businesses and organisations have faced a series of uphill battles, from lockdowns to travel restrictions and even staff shortages when reopening occurs. Unlike many large players, these businesses don’t have shareholders, they have individuals or families who own them. Your dollar doesn’t go towards increasing a share price, it goes towards putting food on the table, paying the mortgage or hiring local workers.
Here are some ways you can support local businesses and organisations to get back on their feet this Christmas.
#1 Gift experience or dining vouchers
For those of us in NSW and Victoria, the last few months have been defined by staying at home, so a voucher to get out and about is the perfect gift this Christmas. Support your favourite local restaurants, beauty salons, entertainment venues, or even your local small retailers.
#2 Have a staycation and be a local tourist
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful and diverse country, and many of us have tourist activities in our backyards, from museums and zoos, to wineries, water sports and adventure activities. Our local operators are feeling the pinch from a lack of international and domestic tourism, so get family or friends together and experience what your local region has to offer.
#3 Shop in local bricks-and-mortar stores
Most of us have had our fill of online shopping, so it’s the perfect time to do your Christmas shopping at local, small retailers. In some cases, you may pay a little bit more for an item compared to ordering from a big player, but if you can afford it, you will be supporting the owner directly and helping the local economy to thrive.
#4 Order or book directly with local providers
We are all used to going straight to aggregation sites for everything from ordering food to booking accommodation. And while these sites can be helpful to compare providers and complete your booking quickly, they do take a cut from your purchase. The amount varies from site to site but can be quite high, leaving some small businesses with the difficult choice of not listing on popular platforms or losing money on orders.
#5 Support charities to help the community
At a time when the vulnerable need our support, many charities are doing it tougher than ever before. To cope with financial uncertainty, charitable giving was cut from some corporate and household budgets during the pandemic, so if you are in a position to help community groups, don’t forget them this Christmas.
You can also include charities in your gift buying. In our family Kris Kringle, we include two charities as recipients. Instead of buying a gift for a family member, the buyer donates this amount or buys something the charity is asking for.
#6 Share the love with a social follow, Google review, recommendation, or referral
Supporting local businesses doesn’t just have to be about spending money with them. Word of mouth is an incredibly effective way for a business to grow, so if you’ve had a great experience with a local business, follow them on social media, give them a review on Google, or simply tell others about it. It doesn’t cost you a cent but can make a huge difference to your favourite local businesses.
General Advice warning
The information provided in this blog does not constitute ﬁnancial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, ﬁnancial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for speciﬁc professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.