While people are doing their part by staying at home to flatten the curve and using free time to take up a new hobby, read books or binge-watch series, many small businesses are seriously feeling the pinch during the lockdown.
A large number of South African businesses are currently unable to operate at all, while others are finding new ways to keep business going by shifting operations to make and sell essential goods such as fresh produce, frozen meals or sanitisers and cleaning supplies.
If you’re wondering how much of an impact you can make, consider that you might help to keep one person employed for longer or put food on the table for a family. Collectively, South Africans with means can make a big difference.
Here are 5 ways to help small businesses survive lockdown.
1. Join a virtual community. One way to keep active, engaged and entertained during lockdown and social distancing is to take part in virtual classes. Many fitness instructors, children’s activity classes, dance and music teachers, and more, are still offering their services via live streaming or video links.
2. Buy now, enjoy it later. If you were going to book a hair appointment, beauty treatment, a personal training session, or whatever it is you would normally do but are currently unable to, you can still do so. Pay now, support the small businesses offering these services, and think of it as an IOU to yourself.
3. Pay it forward. Online ticketing companies such as Quicket have launched features on their website that enables South Africans to support their favourite businesses that are unable to trade during lockdown
You can, for example, support a local restaurant, cafe or brewery and enjoy the rewards later when you’re able to go out into the world again. Maybe, pre-order some beers from the Drifter Brewing Company to be delivered after lockdown, buy yourself or someone you love a voucher for THE POKÉ CO, Molten Toffee or Holy Macaroni for a delicious post-lockdown meal, or purchase a voucher from Banting Baker Gigi for baked treats that you don’t have to bake yourself at home.
4. Support small essential services. Don’t battle to get the last bag of rice or pasta available in the supermarket, or sit waiting for groceries for a week (or two, or more) for the next available delivery date. Many small food-related businesses are offering fresh produce, fruit and vegetable boxes, frozen meals, gourmet ingredients (to up your cooking game at home), and more.
5. Postpone, don’t cancel. If you had plans for a holiday or weekend away thinking there’d be no reason you wouldn’t be able to travel beyond March this year, then consider postponing instead of cancelling to ensure that businesses in the tourism industry, who are the hardest hit during this time, are able to stay operational.