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Things You Can Do to Help Small Businesses Impacted By Covid

Covid-19 has taken a major toll on our local businesses in Singapore. Check out some things you can do to help.

Covid-19 has taken a lot from many people. Small businesses in Singapore have felt much loss as well. According to a Statista study, 61% of small businesses have been negatively affected by Covid-19 in some way as of November 2020 in Singapore. As lockdown continues, we recommend that everyone remains indoors and follows the guidelines offered by experts until they receive the vaccine. That being said, this does not mean that you cannot help these small businesses stay afloat.

Of course, covering for small businesses can be very difficult for many Singaporeans that may have also been impacted by Covid. If you’ve been laid off or temporarily can’t work due to the coronavirus, then it makes sense to be unable to help here. However, if you’re still employed, consider paying it forward to the many people who are in unfortunate situations. Find out what you can do to help take the pressure off of some of your favorite businesses.

Order Take-Out

One of the biggest industries that got hit was the restaurant and food industry. Small businesses and non-chain restaurants really need help. Due to the lockdown and precautionary measures the safest way to do this is by ordering food from them. You can avoid application fees by directly ordering from the restaurant if they have that option. If not, or if you prefer delivery services, you can always just log into your Deliveroo or Foodpanda account and order from these places to try and give them business.

Each order goes into their revenue stream and can help pay for expenses that they may be struggling to cover. Ordering food delivery from local restaurants not only helps support small business owners but also allows them to keep more of their staff employed. To help the restaurants even more, we would recommend ordering from them directly if they offer delivery. In our table we breakdown some popular food delivery commissions, but restaurants can be charged upwards of 35% for deliveries.

Graph showing Delivery Service Commissions

If you are interested in ordering more takeout to support your favorite local restaurant, then you might as well earn rewards while you do it! With the right credit card, you can earn upwards of 6% rewards for your dining and takeout purchases.

Purchase Gift Cards

A really helpful way to provide cash to your favorite small businesses that may not be selling or providing services online are gift cards. Gift cards also allow you to offer up cash and give reassurance to businesses that there is interest even though you may purchase from them at a later date. It is a good idea to also purchase gift cards for friends and family if you were thinking of getting them a gift and ask them to do the same for their favorite businesses.

Buying and sharing gift cards also spreads awareness about the business, which can really help keep the store alive. This cash they receive can help them cover their short-term expenses as well. If you are purchasing gift cards using a credit card, It is important to note that you will receive rewards on the merchant the gift cards were purchased on. For example, if you get a restaurant gift card at a grocery store, then it will fall under grocery rewards instead of dining.

Offer Your Expertise at a Discount

If you are feeling generous you can always lend a hand to some of these business owners by donating a free consultation. Owners of small businesses can always use someone who can help with legal issues, insurance, accounting, or even financing issues. According to Christopher Hanson, lead consultant at RedBaron, “If you are a CEO, CFO or in-house lawyer stuck at home, try calling your favorite local businesses to simply consult with them, help answer pressing questions and alleviate fears.” By helping the small business with your expertise you would be saving them thousands of dollars alleviating some of the highest costs small businesses are facing during the pandemic.

Social Media Shoutouts

A great way to assist your local businesses without having to spend any money is by shouting them out on social media. The more reach you have the better. By leveraging social media you are able to spread awareness and let other potential consumers know about the business. The table below shows the number of users for Singapore's most prominent social media platforms as of March 2020. All three are mostly used by individuals between the ages of 25 and 34.

Social Media PlatformNumber of Users in Singapore
Facebook4.45 million
LinkedIn2.83 million
Instagram2.13 million

This method's payoff is instantaneous and can increase engagement of the businesses social media accounts. By increasing engagement on social media you are guiding consumers to their platform. As a result, giving them more customers.

Positive Reviews

Another free way to support local businesses on a budget is by posting positive reviews about them on social media or on rating sites like Yelp. These reviews can help guide customers to your favorite small businesses. Other than just helping them get customers, you are also bringing employees and business owners joy by writing reviews and giving them positive feedback. That is something we can all use more of after a difficult 2020.

Start a Fundraiser

Lastly, if you are really concerned about a local business that may be struggling, it may be worth looking into Gofundme or other resources that can help you raise money for them. By pitching them out and raising money for them you can make or break the sole source of income for a family. This is something you would do as a last resort if your favorite restaurant or hair salon is going under.

Covid-19 has been devastating for many small businesses, but that doesn't mean you cannot do your part to help alleviate the pressure. It is up to us as a community to uplift our small businesses and keep our economy going.

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a finance graduate from Northeastern University. He has had experience in the financial services sector working at Brown Brothers Harriman in trade settlement and True Capital Management as an investment analyst prior to joining ValueChampion.

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