Ways to Support Local Businesses (and Why)
As most of the country has moved on to Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan, alongside an increasing vaccination rate, this means that inter-district travelling is open to more and more Malaysians who are fully vaccinated. Additionally, dine-in is also allowed now for fully vaccinated Malaysians. For months prior to this, however, many businesses have been severely affected by the pandemic; just by November last year, over 30,000 businesses were forced to close down, including many iconic ones such as Speedy Video, Holiday Inn Resort in Penang, and MBO Cinemas. For this reason, it is all the more crucial for us to support local businesses, especially the ones we would hate to see going away, the best we can.
Here are several more reasons why we should support local businesses, and how we should go about doing so.
Local businesses bring the community together. How often do you go up to someone and when they ask you what’s good or popular in your area, you can answer them in a snap? Imagine if that chicken rice stall or ramen restaurant you’d always recommend to others were to fold and disappear one day. Help keep them afloat during this time by frequenting them more often.
Local businesses are also essential for the local economy. First of all, most would hire local workers, which creates job opportunities for local residents. Secondly, good local businesses would also attract those from outside the local community, especially if they offer things that few others can offer, such as unique attractions, activities or food.
Lastly, local businesses would also provide more diversity in terms of having different choices available instead of being limited to just one particular source or brand; for example, some might prefer McDonald’s, but others would prefer a particular roadside Ramly burger stall or another, each having their own speciality and twists.
Convinced yet? Now here’s how you can go and support local businesses in your area.
Tapau or Takeaway Directly From the Stall/Restaurant
We get it, ordering delivery via certain popular food delivery platforms is convenient, and sometimes they have great offers as well! However, these platforms often charge a significant commission rate while at the same time not allowing merchants to mark their prices up, resulting in substantial losses for these merchants. Thus, in order to directly support local businesses, it would be better for you to order directly from the merchants themselves instead of doing it via food delivery platforms which cut out the profits of these merchants by up to 30% or more.
Promote Local Businesses on Social Media
One thing you can easily do to help support local businesses is by promoting them on your social media. Take photos of their products or services, share them on your social media with a positive review. This way, you will bring more brand exposure to these businesses and it would draw more customers to them. Many local businesses, especially small-scale private ones, do not have the budget or publicity comparable to that of international brands, so individual efforts in promoting them on social media would go a long way for them in terms of visibility to others.
Shop Safely and Responsibly
Most importantly, you would help local businesses by following the SOP in order to minimise the risk of infection, which would otherwise inconvenience the business and backfire on them, forcing them to close sooner because they would have lost their income.
So there we go, those are some reasons why we should support local businesses and how we should go about them. Do you have any local businesses you want to support? Any more ideas on how we can support local businesses? Let us know in the comments!
Your Gateways to Getaways,