As National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day Approaches, Here Are 4 Ways to Show Support
Small, independent businesses — also known as mom and pop shops — can be hard to maintain. But they can be a pivotal part of local communities.
“They’re part of what makes a community interesting, quirky, fun and special,” says Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst. “The people running them live down the street from you rather than two time zones away. They might have been part of the community for decades and hold special memories for you. It’s the ice cream shop that you remember visiting with mom and dad when you were a kid, the bowling alley where you had your kid’s eighth birthday party, the music store where you bought your first guitar.”
That’s why it’s important to show your support and keep these vital shops in business. National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day falls on March 29 — in honor of this day, here are a few ways to support these small businesses.
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No. 1: Find mom and pop shops in your area
If you aren’t familiar with the small, independent shops in your area, doing some research can help. After all, mom and pop shops can come in many forms, including:
- Clothing stores
- Electrician services
- Novelty stores
- Plumbing services
- Thrift shops
Because they come in many forms, you could find ways to introduce more independent businesses into your spending habits for a wider impact.
No. 2: Make a purchase (or several)
“The best way to support mom and pop shops is to spend your money there. Period,” Schulz says. “So many family-owned stores are at a distinct disadvantage against big, corporate retailers and are constantly battling to survive. Regularly shopping at one of these smaller stores can make a real difference to their bottom line.”
By consciously deciding to skip the big-box stores in favor of local shops, you can help support small businesses in a meaningful way. Depending on the type of mom and pop shops you support, that could mean doing things like:
- Purchasing an item
- Grabbing dinner
- Buying a gift card
- Scheduling an appointment
No. 3: Leave a good review
Reviews can be the lifeblood of small businesses, and they help others figure out if it’s worth it to make a purchase with that business. Taking a few minutes to leave reviews for mom and pop shops you frequent on sites like Yelp, Etsy and similar platforms can go a long way in helping these shops drum up business. These types of shops may also have a website where you can leave a review.
You could talk about things like positive experiences with the owners, the shop’s level of customer service and the quality and value of the products. If applicable, a well-lit photo may also help showcase their value.
No. 4: Spread the word
Similar to leaving a good review, talking about your experience with a mom and pop shop on social media can help people find them and potentially make purchases. Even if you haven’t had a chance to shop there in the past few months, you can still draw on previous experiences with these businesses to show your support.
“Put simply, if you and your community don’t support small businesses, they likely won’t stand a chance,” Schulz says. “Then, we’ll just be left with a bunch of boring, cookie-cutter big-box stores and chain restaurants that are the same everywhere, and no one wants that.”