Forum: Easy ways to support small businesses now that they're open

People walking along rows of shops at Toa Payoh Central, on May 25, 2020.
People walking along rows of shops at Toa Payoh Central, on May 25, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

Every Saturday morning before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I walked the vibrant Joo Chiat Road to do grocery shopping. This was one of my favourite weekend routines, as I always came back with something different to cook or try, discovered a beautiful shophouse or stayed out longer than I expected to have lunch somewhere.

It has been heartbreaking to see all my neighbours, who have become my friends over time, have their physical stores remain shut for such a long time.

But now that phase two of Singapore's reopening has kicked in, there are some easy, free or low-cost ways to rally behind these businesses.

• Did you love that meal at the restaurant or the service you received? Leave them a nice review online.

• Tag your favourite local stores and secret spots on social media so your friends can also try them.

• Subscribe to the businesses' online newsletters. Subscriptions empower businesses to grow online.

• Comply with safe distancing rules when visiting the store, to ensure it remains a safe place for other customers to also feel encouraged to try.

• Buy birthday, company or party gifts at your favourite local store and include its business card. If the recipient likes it, he may check it out himself.

• Provide support and feedback, so the store can make improvements for other guests.

And remember, little things are often the ones that make the biggest difference in those around us.

Patricia Marin Lucas

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2020, with the headline 'Easy ways to support small businesses now that they're open'. Print Edition | Subscribe