While measures taken by the South African government are appropriate and necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, small businesses everywhere, including those in our areas, are suffering.
However, where there’s a will there’s a way, and many of these businesses have adjusted their offering to introduce contactless service. Read our latest newsletter for a list of the medical facilities, supermarkets and pharmacies in the Green Point and Oranje-Kloof areas that are still open during lockdown. Now it’s up to us to support them and help them survive in these tricky times.
Beyond helping our small businesses remain afloat through this crisis and limiting the spread of COVID-19 by reducing our movement within Cape Town, supporting local has benefits that will outlive this pandemic. The movement of consumers from large businesses to local farmers, craftsmen and other retailers, stimulates the South African economy in more ways than you might predict.
How you can support local businesses now:
- Consider paying for things in advance by purchasing gift cards for when lockdown is over and you’re back to your usual routine of morning coffees at the local café or weekly boxing classes. This gives you something to look forward to, and their cashflow a real boost.
- Shop online. We all need to eat but consider avoiding the crowds and purchasing essentials online. Here are a few locals we’re loving:
- Work out at home. Many local workout studios are offering online classes, some even for free! Whether you’re paying for an online workout or providing them with exposure by gushing to your friends about that free class you did, you’re helping a small company. To feel the burn, we recommend:
@iamdrenched free live Instagram workouts
@themovementlab_sa free live Instagram Pilates classes
@theyogalife’s live streaming classes. Be sure to book your spot on the MINDBODY App.
Local businesses drive innovation
Since a lot of small business owners operate in the same communities they live in, they have first-hand knowledge of their community’s wants, needs and challenges, according to Entrepreneur.com. This empowers them to solve the problems, wants and needs on their doorstep.
Small businesses have a more direct connection to their consumers and thus work to meet these specific needs in ways that are best for the local customer, economy and environment (for the most part). Beyond their size, small businesses are defined by their ethos of creating the products, services and solutions they’re passionate about and their small innovations drive our economy and the world forward.
When you shop locally your money remains in your community, and a strong local economy is essential for bringing about community development. KANTAR SA’s Barometer Research from March 2020 states that consumers are already shifting towards shopping local since COVID-19, because with health becoming a greater fear, they’re paying more attention to the origin of the products they buy. Maybe, local really is lekker.
Right now, with our decisions about where to spend our money we have the power to help our economy stay afloat by giving small businesses the best chance of recovery once we have overcome the pandemic.
Local businesses can preserve their community’s character, rather than allowing it to be overtaken by the homogenising force of multinational companies. By supporting the little guys, you ensure that your community’s unique quirks and perks are preserved.
Smaller businesses are generally more transparent due to a shorter value chain (manufacturer-to-consumer journey). This means more sustainable materials and suppliers. You may pay slightly more for these goods compared to those sold by big chains, but you’re paying for the quality, and the peace of mind from knowing that your goods were produced ethically.
Better customer service
Big companies are driven to pay their shareholders a large return. As a result, customer service and satisfaction isn’t always the top priority. You’re often dealing with people who are far removed from the decision-making process. For a small business, however, every customer matters. As a result, they will generally provide a much more personal in-store experience and customer service that is taken seriously. In some cases, shopper and entrepreneur will be directly interacting.
Yes, we’re currently facing a very challenging situation, but aren’t we so lucky to have so many brilliant small businesses on our doorstep? Who knows, you may end up discovering your new favourite local! Post a comment and let us know what you discover, and which businesses you are supporting in our area.