If we have learnt anything from the generosity of our communities over the last couple of months, it’s that we have a lot of stuff we don’t actually need. So much so that evacuation centres closed their doors to donations, saying they have all they need and more. With most of the physical clean-up now done, ‘volunteer fatigue’ can set in. However, our community still needs a lot of love and support, especially those who lost homes, businesses and are separated from loved ones. This is a good time to focus on the little things we can do to make someone’s day that little bit better.
Pay it forward
We all know how the concept works, so let’s put it into action all around our community. For small businesses operating as usual, think about ways you can give your customers opportunities to ‘pay it forward’. Be Waxed and Tanned in River Street, Ballina have set up a simple system whereby customers can buy a gift voucher which staff can use, at their discretion, to treat a future customer to a little pampering. Little luxuries like this go such a long way. Imagine if most Ballina businesses led the way in setting up something like this to enable customers to ‘pay it forward’…
Consider whether your business is in a position to ‘pay it forward’. Remember, you rely on the community for ongoing business, so showing them love and support in a time like this is extremely important. Plus, doing nice things for others feels really good! Can you provide your products or services at a discounted rate, offer flood victims a meal or a drink on the house or, simply raise money in-store to donate to a flood recovery charity? At Barefruit, we’ve teamed up with Green Coast Coffee in River Street and have pre-paid for 80 coffees for flood victims. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference and your business will benefit in the long-run
Support your fellow local businesses
Our human nature is to help other people in times of need and crisis, and it’s as important that businesses support each other. Many local businesses been through tough times over the last two years, so help a brother (or sister) out and get amongst the local business community. Use local suppliers, purchase ingredients from local farmers, sell local products in-store, give local businesses a shout-out on social media, take the team out to the local café for lunch, network and offer help and advice…the ways businesses can support each other is endless but the impact of a positive, collaborative and supportive business community puts meals on our tables, keeps roofs over our heads and sends our kids to school.
At the end of the day, show kindness and support to those who need it most whenever and however you can. What goes around, comes around…