With vaccinations up and COVID-19 cases down in the United States, more people are ready for a return to some degree of “normal.” So are West Virginia’s small businesses!
During the worst of the pandemic, many places had to restrict hours, limit the number of customers, or even close entirely. These necessary health measures hit small businesses particularly hard. Now with the prospect of recovery on the horizon, many restrictions have been eased.
West Virginia small businesses are ready to welcome customers as they reopen and return to normal business practices. For some businesses, this will mean unlocking the door and flipping the “closed” sign to “open.” For others, it may be accepting business through an improved, easy-to-shop website or delivery service.
No matter what, it’s incredibly important that West Virginians choose to shop local whenever possible. Here are several ways to support small businesses in your favorite West Virginia cities and towns:
Visit local small businesses. Find out what types of small businesses exist in your community, where they are and whether their storefronts are open. Then, pay them a visit! Just be sure to follow health precautions set forth by business owners, such as reduced capacity, social distancing or a face mask requirement.
- Shop online. Many small businesses now sell their products online, whether through their own websites or an ecommerce site like etsy.com. Most likely, the same items available in a storefront are also available for purchase online. You can choose to have gifts delivered rather than purchasing them in-person. The experience may be different, but the impact is just as big.
- Buy gift cards. Not sure what to get but still want to buy from a local business? Go with a gift card or gift certificate! This option allows you to generate income for the business and provides flexibility for future purchases.
- Show virtual support. Follow the business’s social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest, and engage with their posts by liking, commenting and sharing. This goes a long way in helping them reach more people.
- Leave positive reviews. After supporting the small businesses in your area, head online and leave them five star Google reviews and kind recommendations on Facebook. Good old-fashioned word-of-mouth is still some of the best marketing there is.
Small business owners can also get involved with the “Come In, We’re Open” campaign by visiting wvsbdc.com/weareopenwv and following these simple steps:
- Print out a “Come In, We’re Open” sign and hang it somewhere visible in your store.
Snap a photo of the sign (either hanging in the store OR employees/owners posing with the sign) and share it on your social media channels.
- On your social media channels, tell us why you are participating in the campaign or why you love being a small business owner in WV! Make sure to tag @WVSBDC and use the hashtags #WeAreOpenWV #WVSBDC.
- Stay tuned for outreach from WV SBDC about additional opportunities for your small business to be part of the campaign’s materials.