Local business is the lifeblood of countless towns throughout the U.S. They provide their communities with a sense of pride, flavor, and commerce — contributing far more than just goods to customers in the region. Even the smallest local business can help create more jobs in their area, sometimes offering better wages and employee perks than larger chain businesses throughout a region.
The growing number of persons who wish to be self-employed and capitalize on a need for certain services or goods within their community has given rise to a wave independent local businesses that have sprung up around the country.
Thanks to small business loans (or SBA loans), more and more business-minded individuals are now able to become full-fledged business owners and make their dream a reality. SBA loans offer financial assistance to small business owners who apply for a small business loan and meet various qualifications.
Packed with fine dining establishments, boutiques selling a variety of unique goods, not to mention a number of spas and specialty stores, Montco’s local business scene is booming. If you live, work, or just enjoy spending a lot of time in Montco, here are three ways in which you can help support local Montgomery County businesses.
1. Think Local
It seems obvious, go out for lunch or dinner at your favorite locally-owned restaurant or watering hole. Patronizing local businesses gives them a vote of confidence as to their product and enables them to grow and offer a wider range of services to customers in their community. In turn, grateful local businesses develop tight bonds with their clientele and are able to personally address the specific needs and wants of their community at the local level.
2. Review Local Businesses Online
If you like what a local business is doing…say something! Websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List are a wonderful way to give a boost to local businesses. Simply taking five minutes to offer an honest review of a favorite local business’s goods, food, or overall atmosphere can go a long way towards enhancing their credibility. Your review can help sway a potential customer or patron towards your favorite locally-owned shop or eatery. While word of mouth and telling a friend about your favorite local store or hangout is always wonderful, the Internet has opened up new doors for spreading the word about great options that exist right in your own backyard.
3. The Power of Social Media
While reviewing businesses online is a great way to let others know about how much you enjoy them, interacting with your favorite local establishment via social media lets the business itself know that you like their products. Most local businesses have social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites to give fans and followers insight into when they are offering specials, sales, or just getting a bead on what their customers like best. By clicking “like” or “follow,” it’s easy to get in touch with business owners and allow your voice — and support to be heard. Given the nature of social media now, many of your friends who live in the same geographic location may also see you interacting with your favorite local businesses and be encouraged to give them a try, too.
4. Start a Family Tradition
Since many small businesses are family-owned and operated, why not encourage your own family to shop at these family-oriented businesses? Encourage your children to always consider supporting local businesses from local eateries to the hardware store up the block. Supporting local businesses helps support other friends and family in the community and provide jobs and wonderful services right in your hometown.
Gift Card Give Away!!!
To encourage you to support local businesses and encourage your family to frequent local businesses, Conestoga Bank is offering a Sharing Card that’s up for grabs for one lucky reader. The Sharing Card works like a traditional Visa® gift card — but with a philanthropic spin. After 18 months, the remaining balance of the card will automatically be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
In an effort to help support local businesses and the future of children who may eventually be local business entrepreneurs or patrons themselves, Conestoga Bank is sponsoring a giveaway in which the winner will receive a $50 Conestoga Bank Sharing Card. Enter today and spend your Sharing Card at your favorite local Montco businesses!
How To Enter: All you have to do to be eligible, is tell us your story! Leave a comment below explaining how Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has made a difference in your life, or the life of someone you know. All entries will be reviewed and a winner will be selected at random to win a $50 Sharing Gift Card courtesy of Conestoga Bank. CHOP has brought hope to so many families in and around Montgomery County, tell us how they’ve helped you for a chance to win! *Comments and entries for the gift card giveaway will be accepted from 6/3/13 – 7/3/13.
*This guest post was provided by Holly Wolf, the Chief Marketing Officer of Conestoga Bank, a community bank with branches in Montgomery County and across southeast Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia. Offering banking services to both families and businesses, Conestoga Bank provides options at both local branches and online. This publication does not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this material.