BBB: How to support small businesses during a pandemic holiday season

Milwaukee, Wis. – This year has been especially rough on small businesses. This holiday season, small companies need your support to make it through these uncertain times. Here are BBB’s tips on how everyone can show small businesses some love. 

By temporarily closing their doors, limiting capacity, or scaling back services, small businesses are helping to keep their customers and employees healthy. But the loss of income makes it tough to cover on-going expenses like rent and salaries. These tips may help your favorite businesses have the cash they need to make it through these lean times.  

Practical Ways to Support Small Business:  

  • Buy a gift card for later: Many small businesses that have had to close or reduce services are offering gift certificates at discounted rates for when they open back up. Look on business’s websites and social accounts.
  • Shop (local) online: Local shops and vendors may have closed their (physical) doors, but many still run online shops. Look for them on social media or check the business’s website for links to their online marketplace,
  • Look for virtual classes: People who work in training or professional development – anyone from your personal trainer to the person teaching your office’s public speaking workshop – are finding creative ways to move their instruction online. Even though your local gym is closed, your favorite yoga teacher may be hosting a live class online. The same goes for people who offer professional training. Now may be a good time to brush up on your skills through an online course.
  • Get take-out or delivery: Many restaurants and breweries are now offering takeout with reduced or absent dine-in experiences. Support these local institutions by getting your food or drinks to-go and enjoying it at home. Local food trucks are another way to show support. 
  • Skip the refund and take a rain check: If you paid in advance for an event, such as theater or concert tickets, a class, or a service, consider taking a credit for the future instead of asking for a refund. These businesses will appreciate not needing to issue so many refunds right now.

If your own wallet is feeling the pinch, here are some free ways to support small businesses.

  • Write an online review: This is a good time to finally get around to reviewing your favorite local business. These five-star reviews do help companies rank well in search engines and on other listing services, This is an easy, free way to show your favorite small businesses that you support them. Write a review on now.
  • Like and share on social: Help your favorite business reach a broader audience by liking and sharing their information on social media. This will help them reach future customers and gain more exposure.
  • Tell your businesses that you appreciate their work: These are tough times! Keep morale up by reaching out to the businesses in your community and letting them know that you appreciate their hard work.

For More Information

Go to for more details as well as information from BBB on how to shop safe this holiday season.

For more tips and information about coronavirus, see  Businesses, check out this advice for navigating the coronavirus crisis and visit

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.  

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.