The Announcement last week that the hospitality industry can finally start to reopen on the 4th July was great news to everyone’s ears. However, the recent months of lockdown have severely affected the economy and have had a big financial impact especially on hospitality businesses. Many businesses have sadly had to already close and will not reopen.
Businesses small and large alike have both been affected. However, if there is one thing that the Covid -19 Pandemic has highlighted, it is a new appreciation especially for smaller and local businesses.
While the government has been trying to do its part to protect the economy with various different schemes, there are many ways that we the people can also support our favourite local businesses; be it food and beverage or any other type of business.
Reading about what could be done to help local and small businesses, I decided to think on a personal level, about how I could contribute and also use my own skills and experience. Below I discuss some of the ideas that I have carried out this month. While the ideas and actions I discuss are not new or revolutionary, they have helped me to think about my actions on a more conscious level.
1. Follow & Share on Social Media
This is a simple win which a lot of us do already on social media. However, if you want to make a conscious effort, then just simply following and sharing content of the companies you wish to support is a great start. Following on from what I would normally do, apart from liking posts, I have also started to comment on posts to show support. I have also been reposting any current events and promotions companies are offering. This not only helps to support and build awareness for companies, but it has also helped to build relationships between us which did not previously exist. As they say word of mouth is the most valuable form of advertising, therefore any repost and share is greatly appreciated and always goes a long way.
2. Order Takeaway
Again, this is something a lot of us would do normally but has become an even more important thing during lockdown, as this would be a lot of company’s sole source of income. This has been an extremely easy thing to do in my local area, as a lot of places from early on reopened for takeaway service. My husband and I try at least once a week (actually it happens a few times per week……don’t judge), to consciously make the decision to order local takeaway. Also, you do not need to but if you can spare the change, then you can also tip. We tip (well my husband does, as I always forget). Tipping is a generous habit my husband has picked up from numerous visits to the States and has continued during lockdown. As they say every little helps.
3. A Friendly Visit
As regulations started to slowly relax, in June I started visiting places that were partly open with social distancing measures in place. I paid a visit to a few places, but my favourite place I visited and was good to see back open was Borough Market. I am lucky to live walking distance to Borough Market and so bought myself a few treats. Of course, due to social distancing measures it did not have the usual hustle and bustle vibe which Borough Market is famous for. However, for those of us that were there, there was a spark of excitement in the air (plus it was one of the hottest days of the year). There was a spark and lots of optimism in the air, which made you look forward to the future and to what could be again very soon.
4. Utilise your own Skills and Experience
Lastly, this option will be personal to everyone. Assessing my skills and experiences is what has led me to launching Long Live Hospitality and trying to promote as much as possible the Food & Beverage industry.
This month I have built a relationship with my local wine bar and shop called Diogenes The Dog. I recently visited there to interview the owner Sunny Hodge and to write a review of the place. As a keen photographer, I also decided to volunteer my photography skills. In doing this I offered to do a free photography shoot, to produce images that would be used for social media content and promotion. Therefore, both my writing and photography skills will help to promote this business in July. I will feature a separate review soon of my time spent with Sunny Hodge at Diogenes The Dog.
In the meantime, why don’t you start thinking on what you can do in your own way and with your own skills, that could help your local and favourite small businesses? It does not need to be a grand gesture and as suggested could be as little as ordering takeaway. Even though hospitality and other businesses are starting to reopen, in an economy that will still be struggling to recover for a long while yet, every little helps in trying to help preserve and protect our local businesses.