Want to help support local businesses?  Do these things!

It’s more important than ever before to support local businesses and local jobs. There’s a range of simple ways – many of them free – to keep supporting local businesses while they adapt to changed trading conditions. Shop, spend and support local businesses like they depend on it – because they do!

Get social – Like and follow your favourite local businesses to show you care about them and are interested in what they are offering. It is easy for businesses to post on their own social media pages about their products and services and engage directly with an audience that’s already interested in their offer.  We challenge you to Follow Your Favourites – follow ten businesses that you want to see survive and thrive over the coming weeks and use the #followyourfavouritesgeelong on social media to challenge colleagues, friends and family to do the same.

Like their posts – If you see a great offer, fantastic picture of their food, product or service or an important message from a business that you follow hit the like or love button. It’s so simple to do and helps the business expand their reach and spreads the support local message to your family and friends.

Comment on their posts – If you like or love what they are doing, tell them! Comment on the post, tell them what you love about their business or offer, ask questions, and be an at-home cheerleader for them.

Share their posts – Support businesses who are putting great content out there. The act of sharing what a business is posting on social media helps expose the business to more people than it would otherwise reach. It’s simple, it helps support local businesses and it’s free.

Tell – and tag - your friends – Tag friends when you know they would like what a business is offering or if it is something you would love to do, eat or experience with them. It might be as simple as a shout out to a friend who you normally meet for coffee, a Zoom dinner date with family over delicious delivered takeaway or a save the date for when restrictions ease.

Give a review of your favourite businesses – Taking the time to give a review of local businesses that you support can be a huge help to them. It can influence others to follow your lead, gives a boost to the website traffic and google ranking of the business and it can give other customers reliable information about their products and services. Reviewing a business makes it more likely the review will appear on the news feeds of your friends and help spread support for local businesses you love.

Sign up to their newsletters or mailing lists – This helps businesses build relationships with their customers and lets them tell you direct about their products and services. They know you are engaged with their offer and being on their mailing lists lets you find out first about specials, new products, important business updates and, especially now, how the business is adapting to the restrictions required to help stop the spread during the global pandemic.

Subscribe on YouTube or podcast app – Lots of businesses are providing parts of their services via online methods including YouTube channels, live feeds or new podcasts. Subscribers that watch videos can help the video – which might include a yoga session or a professional service giving general advice - gain momentum for the business which can help the businesses online product show up in more searches and reach new customers. Sharing great video content from businesses you love to family and friends helps a lot.

Feeling lucky? Enter a competition – When you see a business you follow online offering a chance to win a product or service at the moment, they are asking their followers to help support them and share with family and friends to build their customer base. If you would like to win what they are offering, enter the competition – you might just get lucky – but even if you don’t win you have helped promote and share the local business and what they offer with family and friends.

All the simple ways of supporting the businesses you love above won’t cost you a cent and can make a huge difference to local businesses. And when you are making choices about where to spend your hard-earned money always consider the following options to help support local even more.

Shop local – When you spend at a local business, it keeps money in the local community, creates local jobs, reduces your carbon footprint, you get great customer service and it promotes a unique and thriving business community. Supporting and buying from local businesses as much as you can now will help more businesses survive through the impact of the pandemic.

Support businesses doing things differently – While some Central Geelong businesses have been able to keep on trading within social distancing requirements, many have also found new and innovative ways to keep operating over recent weeks. Cafes and restaurants are offering new take-away or delivery options to eat or cook at home. Professional services are offering online consultations. Health and wellbeing businesses are livestreaming yoga or meditation sessions or providing products and tutorials for at-home classes or treatments.  And some of Central Geelong’s finest entertainment and cultural venues are offering amazing content for you to enjoy while you are safe at home.

To see how Central Geelong businesses have been doing things differently and to find out more about how you can keep supporting local businesses visit www.centralgeelong.com.au or download the Love Central Geelong app.