This year has certainly not easy on any of us, but I truly can’t imagine how I would feel as a small business owner during this trying time. We all have the tendency to sweat the small stuff, like missing our friends, feeling sad our trip got canceled, or reminiscing on the times where we got to sip lattes in our favorite coffee shops, but then I take a step back and realize how much this is impacting others in a much more severe way. There are so many people in the food and beverage, travel and hospitality industries that are getting hit hard, and SO many small businesses who need our help.
Today I wanted to share five ways you can help out your favorite local or online small businesses through financial support or in other free ways! I’m also sharing a list of small businesses who could use your support. Take a look through, and if you can afford to do so, help them out. They need us.
Five Ways You Can Support Small Businesses Financially or for Free
Now is the perfect time to order that cute handbag you’ve been eyeing, as long as you can afford it. It will make such a difference to the store. For restaurants, it’s also a great time to either order delivery/takeout.
Buy gift cards.
If you want to avoid eating out right now or haven’t found that handbag that’s the perfect one, you can still show your support by buying a gift card. Especially if the small business is a local one and closed, your gift card purchase will make such an impact.
Follow along on social media and show your support.
Something as little as making sure you follow your favorite company on all platforms, watching their Instagram stories every day, or liking all of their posts goes SUCH a long way. As someone who does PR and social media for a living, trust me on this. If you want to go one step further, leave some really authentic, wonderful comments! Sharing a quick note about how you love their products or had a wonderful experience goes a long way. Better yet: highlight the company on your own channels!
Share a review online.
On a similar note, take the time to leave the company, especially restaurants, beauty service, etc. a glowing review online. These reviews can help to drive so much more traffic, which will really help them once we are able to shift past this moment in time.
Be kind with your tip.
Right now, those that continue to serve us, from restaurants to delivery men and more, are putting their own health at risk. Keep that in mind and tip generously!
Small Businesses That Need Our Support
It’s such a challenging time for small businesses and they need our help! Below is a roundup of both some of my favorite small businesses and some of YOURS that you so kindly shared with me! Have other small businesses who need our support? Drop them below and let’s be sure to help everyone out where we can.
Fashion Small Businesses to Support
- Check out my list here of my favorite online boutiques!
- The Little Market | Founded by Lauren Conrad, fair trade goods from around the world
- Alice + Wonder | Chicago-based fashion + accessories
- Everly | Trendy and feminine clothing
- Brook & York | Dainty and customizable jewelry
- Vintage Charm | Fashion + accessories
- Once Upon a Stamp | Customizable dainty jewelry
- Chelsea King | Scrunchies + hair accessories (plus extra discount for medical professionals!)
- Lost Girls Vintage | Chicago-based vintage shop
- Rey to Z Baseball Hats | Custom baseball hats for you and your crew
Beauty, Lifestyle an Home Decor Small Businesses to Support
- Foursided | Chicago-based and online; cards and gifts
- Smitten Boutique | Chicago-based and online; invitations, stationery and gifts
- MegMade | Chicago-based furniture and decor
- Type League Press | Chicago-based and online; custom made mugs
- The Fig Tree | Chicago-based goodies and gifts
- Nomad Chicago | Cafe-based retail space with beauty, accessories and home goods
- Inkling | Chicago-based gift shop located down the street from my apartment
- Ambre Blends | Essential oils
- The Mine Company| Ring and jewelry cleaner
- Scratch Goods | Handmade, clean beauty
- PYT | Clean beauty
- Leahlani Skincare| Tropical beauty skincare
- Itz Spritz | All-natural spritzers, straight to your door with Drizly
- Olika | Nontoxic, eco-friendly and stylish hand sanitizers
- Here is an amazing list of 76 small businesses owned by women!
Chicago-Specific Small Businesses to Support
- Restaurants and bars | They need our help! Order for delivery, buy gift cards, whatever you feel comfortable with. Here are some of my favorites (and there are even more over here in my Chicago City Guide):
- Etta | Order off of their pick-up or family menu here!
- Walton Street Kitchen + Bar | Order from their pick-up menu here!
- Siena Tavern | Order delivery and get a $25 gift card! My recs are here.
- Summerhouse Santa Monica | Order for delivery or get a pizza kit for home!
- Beatrix | Order online for delivery or carry-out.
- Pequod’s | Order delivery or pick-up.
- Art of Pizza | Order for delivery (my favorite deep dish!)
- EMA | Order delivery or carry-out
- Il Porcellino | Open for delivery + order three meals for $150!
- Yellowtail or Tanuki Sushi | Both open for delivery or carry-out
- The Berkshire Room | Closed, but buy a gift card and go treat yourself once we get past this, one of my favorite cocktail bars in the city! I rave about them here.)
- XO Marshmallow | They have the cutest social distancing kits!
- Sinless Tan | Get your glow on as soon as we can leave the house and grab yourself a gift card now.
- Cyclebar | Buy a gift card for classes and hit the studio once we get past this moment in time. Cyclebar also has a really engaging Instagram – go give them some love! They are doing lots of great virtual classes if you have a bike at home and fun instructor takeovers.
- Flowers for Dreams | Local flower delivery service that also gives back to some amazing charities.
Influencer-Owned and Recommended Boutiques and Shops
I reached out to my blogging community since so many content creators are also small business owners. Below are some influencer-owned small businesses along with their recommendations for shops that need our help right now.
- Luca + Grey | Modern bohemian style
- Lane 201 | Affordable trendy fashion and accessories
- Hazel + Olive Boutique | Trendy and affordable fashion
- Frankie Jean | Cutest hats and printed tees
- Aria Rose Boutique | Trendy and girly styles
- Gatta | Chic camera bags
- Le Glacé | Minimalistic and chic styles
- Millie Lynn Boutique | Feminine and girly clothing
- Micale Lynn | Scrunchies, headbands and more
- My Sister’s Closet | Trendy and affordable clothing
- My Retail Therapist | Trendy clothing and accessories
- Emily Roggenburk | Prints, lifestyle and one-of-a-kind apparel
- Simply Michelle Boutique | Everyday comfortable fashion
- Jenna LeAnn Boutique | Quality, affordable fashion
- Blueberi Lane | Trendy and affordable styles
- Teresa Laura Creative | Digital artwork and fun prints