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6 Ways to Support Salt Lake County Small Businesses

Posted By Regional Development
September 22, 2020

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5 Ways to Support Small Business (1)

National Small Business Week, beginning Sept. 21, is being celebrated across the U.S. With COVID-19, support of local, small businesses has never been more critical -- their success is the foundation of our local economy. So, this week we're sharing six concrete ways Salt Lake County residents can jump into action and support local business operations in 2020.

1. Use a Small Business's Website

Innovation isn't exclusive to big tech companies. In fact, innovation is a key driver and hallmark of small businesses. COVID-19 has pushed small businesses to more heavily develop online presence. What does that mean for you?

Instead of shopping at mega giants like Amazon to avoid in-person shopping, you can order products directly from local shops and arrange for pick up before that (delayed) Amazon package would ever hit your doorstep. Some of your favorite Mom-and-Pop shops have probably put off bridging that digital connection, but in 2020 we've seen many finally join the ranks. Support their efforts to do so.

2. An Excuse to Order Takeout

It's no secret that one of the sectors most financially and deeply impacted in 2020 is restaurants and food service. Six months into the pandemic, more families have navigated takeout and delivery as an alternative to dine-in. While national delivery options are convenient, try and use the most direct method possible -- like takeout when available. This allows the business to serve you directly and cut out costly fees from national delivery companies. 

3. Drop Referrals Like They're Hot

Best kept secrets hardly do anyone any good. One of the most valuable things you can do to support that darling boutique, your dedicated handyman, your stylist or tattoo artist is to leave them glowing reviews online. And then tell your friends and family -- or even co-workers. This kind of support is more critical now that online shopping and research is more prevalent during COVID-19. So, where do you start? Try these places:

  • Google Business Review
  • Nextdoor App
  • Yelp Rating
  • Post your experience on your own social media pages
  • Facebook: You can do this on the business' page or in your city group where residents share tips and discuss happenings
  • "Best Of" Awards -- typically carried out by organizations like City Weekly, etc.

4. Book a Staycation

Utah's hospitality industry has suffered greatly during the pandemic. It's a large sector supporting the economy, and accommodations, tourism and other related businesses are bouncing back much slower than others as international and domestic travel remains reduced. 

We're all a little stir-crazy after six months, so why not book a staycation? From the Wasatch and Park City, to State Parks and wonders of the desert, you've got options. In 2020, explore and love where you live.

  • Stay at a local bed-and-breakfast.
  • Take advantage of the fall foliage by camping or lodging in one of the canyons for a weekend.
  • Travel and view kokanee salmon spawning through October.
  • Stay in downtown SLC and enjoy restaurants opened out onto Main Street Thursdays-Saturdays through Oct. 10 as part of the new "Open Streets" program. Dining outside is our new favorite thing. 

5. Make 2020 Holidays Completely Local

While you're staying safely downtown during a staycation, maybe get some holiday shopping done early!

We know, it seems early. Costco skipped Halloween and already has Christmas decor out. We're shocked, shocked I say!

But, we challenge Salt Lake County residents to commit to buying the majority of their gifts from local businesses this year, and for those early planners that might start relatively soon.

  • If you're on a tight budget or embracing the minimalist lifestyle, gifts might look like services or experiences rather than physical goods. Maybe it's tickets or a livestream performance. Or a giftcard to a mutually beloved restaurant.
  • Many companies are delivering their products directly to customers and clients. Send your best friend a bag full of fresh salsas and chips from places like Salsa Queen. (Mad Dough and Challah Back Dough are two great examples of businesses started during the pandemic, deliver, and are insanely delicious.)
  • While many festivals have been canceled in 2020, local artisans are still producing crafts, art, and other locally-inspired materials for Utahns to buy. Check out Urban Arts Gallery in Salt Lake City, or other local art galleries across the valley. While large, original pieces may not be in your budget, there's often prints and other pieces that are affordable and can easily be shipped.

Perhaps you're one of many, though, that are anxious about being able to afford buying gifts for loved ones this year after the loss of a job or loss of clients. Making gifts with your own skills is the epitome of local entrepreneurship and small business.

6. Practice Safety Measures

We know. You've heard this a lot this year. But, public health and economic stability go hand-in-hand. Without feeling safe, consumers will not engage with small businesses. To ease those fears, we all must do our part to wear masks, wash hands, and social distance as much as possible. Consumers in Salt Lake County shared in a formal survey that they feel more comfortable engaging with businesses when these safety measures are in place both for customers and employees.