In a global business world that is becoming more and more uniform, small companies are the salt in the soup. They bring with them the personality and innovative strength that our economy needs. Imagine a city center completely without local shops, galleries, cafes or restaurants. A life without freelance artists, journalists, photographers or designers … horrible, isn’t it?

We like to live in a world of great choice. From hand-made unique items to unusual foods, small companies bring the necessary variety to our world. As a consumer, you can also support these companies in times of crisis.

If you are a business that has been hard hit by the Corona crisis, you will find support in our post “Corona help for freelancers, self-employed and small businesses”.

Ask for alternatives before you cancel

Many small businesses have a lot of creative and innovative ideas about how to keep their business going during the current crisis. Cancellation on your part means no income for them – and that is truly a shame. Instead, let yourself be shown alternatives.

If your expenses are already firmly planned in your budget anyway, contact your counterpart before you cancel. These entrepreneurs know their business inside out and know exactly what they can offer you instead. So you don’t have to completely overthrow your own plans and also help a small company through the crisis.

Cancel reservations on time

Please take your time and call a restaurant to cancel your reservation. Timely cancellation saves the restaurateurs costs: for example, they do not have to buy food that they do not use. A single phone call prevents further loss for restaurants and reduces food waste.

Timely cancellation is not just a good idea for restaurants. Take a look at your calendar and ask yourself which reservations you should cancel in the next few months. This saves your hairdresser, dentist or whoever unnecessary expenses.

Postpone instead of canceling

If you can avoid it, you shouldn’t travel. Even if you have already put a lot of time and money into planning your trip. So rather postpone your trip than announce it. After the crisis is over, small businesses continue to rely on guests.

Many booking platforms and travel agencies make it particularly easy for you to rebook. And if not, then just contact the owner of the booked pension or apartment directly.

Ask restaurants if they can deliver

Not every restaurant is represented on an order website. But as the number of guests decreases, some will think about it. So if you are at home and are busy with the kids, just call your favorite restaurant and ask if they can deliver.

So you get delicious food and the restaurant owner some money in difficult times. Ideal for family dinners.

Refunds are waived

Do you have tickets for a concert or a play that has been canceled? You will usually get your money back for this. But you don’t necessarily have to exercise that right.

Instead, you can consider the ticket price as a donation to the regional culture scene. If you still want to see concerts and plays after the crisis, then help the organizers now and refrain from refunds.

Supports local artists

Artists and musicians survive from one performance to the next – and they have all been canceled. It looks bad with the apartment rental for the next few months. If local artists ever needed your support, now.

Support them with donations on platforms such as Patreon, buy their fan articles or order their works of art or music in local shops. Or hire an artist to do a little something for you.

Inquire about alternative offers

A translator who normally translates simultaneously at events can offer language courses online. A concert pianist can display his art on the web. Gyms can compile individual training plans with exercises for at home. Local bookstores also deliver or provide books for collection. You only need to ask.

Many small businesses are already offering alternative offerings, or will begin in the next few weeks after the first major shock has been overcome. If your favorite shop around the corner doesn’t do that, tell them you would pay for an alternative service. Who knows, maybe with this offer you will throw them a much needed lifebuoy.

Switches to online offers for offline courses

Fitness and yoga classes, creative writing, singing and piano lessons – there are so many offers that you can also take online. If a local business offers one of these options, then accept it! With this you not only support the entrepreneurs financially, you also show solidarity with their difficult situation.

Buy fresh groceries …

So you have more than enough dried, durable and canned food at home? So that these stock purchases also make sense, you should now eat fresh goods. So how about fresh vegetables and fruit from the farm shop? Or with homemade pasta from the Italian delicatessen?

… of small shops

We all know the pictures of empty stores. Toilet paper, pasta and tomato sauce were torn off the shelves faster than the staff could refill. Most hamster purchases were made at large supermarket chains. But you could also shop at the small shop around the corner. Give your money to the little ones!

Do you really want to make a difference? Then ask the elderly people on your street what they need right now. Often they can no longer carry as much and as a risk group they should not leave the house anyway.

Book personal shopping appointments

If you’re in the process of reducing your social contacts, then you’re probably not thinking about fashion. Nevertheless, you want to look good and feel good even in times of crisis. Some local shops now offer personal shopping appointments. Apart from you and a seller, there is no one in the shop.

So you still keep your distance and at the same time support local companies.


Share and participate!

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If you found these tips helpful, then share them with others. How we behave now has a direct impact on the survival of many self-employed people, freelancers and small businesses. So join in!