The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging consumers to help local businesses through the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With many businesses forced to temporarily shut their doors, many are facing uncertain times ahead.
“We’ve noticed that our B.C. business community has taken a huge hit,” said Karla Laird, BBB Mainland B.C. spokesperson.
“Businesses are downsizing, some of them have had to close all their operations, some of them have to had to send their staff home.”
The impact of this health crisis on small business is far reaching.
The BBB says the crisis is affecting businesses you visit and interact with every day, including your local coffee shop, favourite lunch spot and even businesses that might not readily come to mind.
“You are looking at your salons and barbershops, you are looking at your restaurants, your contractors, your plumbers, your tradesmen,” said Laird.
To help support local businesses the BBB is offering the following tips.
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- Buy a gift card for later. Look on the company’s website and social media accounts for details
- Skip the refund and take a rain check. Consider taking a credit for the future instead of asking for a refund
- Commit to future work or project when the business reopens
- Shop (local) online. Many local shops and vendors run online shops. Look for them on social media accounts or check their website
- Look for virtual classes
- Get takeout or delivery. Many restaurants and breweries are offering this service and some with a discount.
If you can’t afford to pay in advance or your own wallet is feeling the pinch, the BBB says there are free ways to support local businesses.
One way is to write an online review of your favourite business.
The BBB says five star reviews help companies rank well in search engines.
Also consider liking and sharing a business on social media so they can gain more positive exposure.
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