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COVID 19 Updates

A Surge in Shopping Local Online

Will Burns on Monday, October 26, 2020 at 12:00:00 am

The COVID crisis has been tough on many Main Street businesses. And as we look toward the holiday shopping season, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are growing at a speed not seen since July. In the midst of a pandemic, shopping local and buying online are no longer mutually exclusive.

Many resilient small business owners adjusted business practices and boosted their online presence in order to continue serving their customers. From curbside pickup and remote ordering to videoconference consultations and social media promotions, small businesses showcased their agility and consumers responded.

A recent report by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable highlighted some of the ways small businesses are leveraging internet tools to adapt during the crisis. The survey found that:

  • 51 percent of businesses report increasing online interactions with their customers.
  • 35 percent of businesses that changed operations have expanded the use of digital payments.

It’s not just businesses that are adapting. Consumers are combining their enthusiasm for social media engagement with their desire to support favorite local businesses. Coffee shops, restaurants, craft breweries and quirky boutiques are part of what make our communities unique. Residents don’t want to see their favorite local businesses fail. In fact, the National Retail Federation reports that 49 percent of consumers “made a purchase specifically to support a local or small business.”

Countless chambers of commerce around the world encouraged this behavior through social media campaigns to promote shopping local. They pulled small businesses together and collected and shared information about operational changes like curbside pickup, adjusted hours, special promotions and more. Then they rallied consumers to support their town’s small businesses and encouraged them to share via social media platforms.

Here are just a handful of examples.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, it is more important than ever for chambers to continue to support their local businesses. Here are some partner resources that can help:

Tags: Covid-19

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