How to Support Small and Local in a COVID-Normal World
It is the start of 2020 in Australia. If someone had told you that the world was about to be turned upside-down by a pandemic, you probably would have laughed at them. The word ‘Corona’ referred to a brand of beer, travel was everyday life, and the support everyone was providing went to the bushfire relief efforts. Coronavirus barely left an impact on us, outside of those with relatives in the Wuhan province. This was until March 2020 when it all changed.
Australia’s COVID-free streak finished. Along with the restrictions and health policy came new approaches by Australians in our consumption. Toilet paper cleared from shelves, mask purchasing becoming a necessity, and adaptations to how businesses operate.
While many of us are trying to support our economies, it can be difficult to remember to put them first. To help, we have a few tips around how to support small and local* in this new reality that is ‘COVID-normal’.
* ‘Local’ in this blog refers to Australian-owned and operated, with ‘Small’ focusing on businesses that have less than 100 employees.
Make a Habit of Shopping Small Local
Whether you are in or out of lockdown, supporting the local economy adds enormous benefit to your community. The choice reduces emissions, supports employment within the region or country, keeps money in the community, and allows for more personal interactions as a customer. Quite often, it can be easy for us to fall into the habit of convenience. However, there are ways to switch that pattern. Each time you choose small and locally made, owned, and operated, someone does a happy dance. Imagine how many happy dances you can create!
You don’t always have to buy something to show support. Asking small and local businesses how they are going or telling them that you are thinking of them is a simple gesture that goes a long way. This can be in (socially-distanced) person, a message on social media, or by phone.
Showcase Local and Small
When you find businesses you love, sometimes it is nice to share them with others. There are so many easy ways to achieve this, including social media, gifts, or talking about the business to a loved one. Not only does this make small and local businesses excited to know that you love them, it also means your friends and family can enjoy patronage as well.
Thank you Eden & Sage for this beautiful image of our bath bomb! ^
Putting Quality over Convenience when Possible
Sometimes we need to buy better than buy cheaper*. Buying quality can include multi-use items, sustainable options, handmade, and much more. Many small and local businesses sell incredible products and services that not only fulfil your needs, but can reduce waste and save you money later on. This can include reusable masks, slow fashion, and fresh produce. And if there is a quality item you cannot find in your region, try asking a small and local business if the product can be ordered in.
* Purchasing quality can be difficult for multiple reasons such as cost, which is why we have noted that only when possible.
While all of these ideas are small, the impact is huge on our community makers, artists, growers, and other individuals. We hope you try a few and continue to choose small local businesses. Join the happy dance revolution.