In most communities, mom-and-pop stores can be found everywhere. They are small businesses that are independently owned, often by families.
The business industry took a huge hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most especially, mom-and-pop stores suffered. According to Yelp, around 70,000 mom-and-pop shops closed down as a result of the pandemic. Not to mention, even before COVID-19, these small businesses were already struggling with competing with retail giants, such as Walmart and Amazon.
Despite their size and their narrow reach, local convenience stores are very important to communities. And this is why people need to do what they can to support these stores.
The Importance of Mom-and-pop Stores
Convenience stores give a lot of value to the communities they serve:
Though mom-and-pop stores are small, they can still provide jobs. This is especially helpful for people who are just getting started and don’t have enough experience to get a job in bigger companies. These small stores can also help full-time students earn a little extra cash.
Offer Personalized Services
Mom-and-pop stores have a small clientele. They appreciate every customer who enters their doors. Owners can easily remember people who keep coming back to their stores.
And as a result, mom-and-pop shops nurture their customers. They can offer discounts or throw in some freebies in each repeat purchase. Mom-and-pop stores actually care about their customers.
Bind the Community
Mom-and-pop store owners get to know their customers. So they can help connect them. And this strong connection between community members can result in a close-knit, harmonious community. For example, you are thinking of acquiring a new home and don’t know where to start. The store owner might introduce you to an expert in mortgage services who lives in your community.
How to Support
Here are easy ways to show your support for the mom-and-pop stores in your area:
Make Them Your Primary Go-to Store
The most obvious way to support mom-and-pop shops is to buy from them when you can. When you need something, go to your local convenience stores first before going to retail giants. While convenience stores are small, they carry a wide variety of products. And you’re likely to find the everyday items you need. So checking local stores will help you save on gas and save you from a relatively larger crowd.
Talk About Them on Social Media
Everybody’s on social media these days. You can take advantage of it to support your favorite mom-and-pop stores. For instance, you can rave about their products or services on social media. You can even take it up the notch and make the post public, instead of available to only your friends and family.
Your social media post can go viral and then put your favorite shop on the map and get more visitors. For example, back in 2019, the son of a mom-and-pop donut shop posted photos of their father standing alone in his store and being sad about having no customers. The tweet went viral, and the shop was able to sell out all their products at the end of the day.
Leave Positive Reviews
Another way to support mom-and-pop stores is to post positive reviews about them online. If you experience good customer service, include that in your review. You can also talk about getting items that are difficult to find elsewhere, affordable prices, or other things that warrant a positive review for these stores.
These positive reviews can become “free advertising” for these stores and will help them get more customers. You also help in bringing in more revenue in your local area.
Give them Feedback
You can also help mom-and-pop stores by giving them feedback. For example, you can tell the owners what you like about their stores. They’ll surely appreciate it.
Meanwhile, if you see things that need improvement, don’t be afraid to tell them. They’ll likely appreciate it. They can use your feedback to improve their stores so that they can attract more customers and keep them coming back. Although, it would be nice if you “soften the blow” and provide positive feedback first before sharing your criticism.
A mom-and-pop store can serve as the soul of a community. The store helps connect people. They also provide convenience and easier access to essentials and other goods.
While most businesses are starting to get back on their feet, an extra push of support certainly won’t hurt. There are many ways to show your support. Even doing just one will already have a big positive impact on these stores.