Content Manager
April 2, 2020

How to use to use your money to support local businesses

The Chip team dish out their best advice for helping out your favourite businesses amidst a pandemic.

With enforced closures and policed advice to stay indoors and reduce contact, we know most of our Chip goals have been forcibly changed, along with our usual weekday to weekend rituals. 

While we encourage you to continue with Chip autosaves if you can, maybe now with goals rebranded as ‘financial safety nets’ or the eventual ‘big holiday’, with some of the extra money you may find yourself with, we thought we’d share some positive ways you could be spending. 

To ensure they’re still here when the restrictions lax, everyone can do their bit in helping keep the little guys afloat. 

1. First, go for a little social media stalk

List your favourite wine bar; tapas joint; local haunt; lunch break stop.

Then list your go-to hairdresser/barber, beautician, frequented retail therapy, gym. 

Track each of them down on Facebook, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their mailing list to read for the best way to support them through this period of uncertainty, so they can be there with the goods when things begin to reopen! 

2. Ordering takeout is now celebrated 

What was once guilt over ordering a Pad Thai when you knowingly having a fully stocked fridge, has now been replaced by a somewhat noble feeling that you are the foundation for economic stability.

Delivery services, namely Deliveroo, are doing a dapper job ensuring their drivers wellbeing is protected, as well as offering support to the NHS.

However, if you can, order direct from the restaurant, it gives them the opportunity to make more profit. 

Iain Mullan, Backend Engineer:

We've been ordering beer deliveries direct from our local breweries, instead of just going to the supermarket!

3. Keep the music playing

With gigs, concerts and festivals postponed or cancelled all together, the music industry needs our help. 

Subscribe to the premium versions of streaming services like Spotify Premium, if not already - artists get a bigger cut against free accounts.

Buying band merch or reverting back to old school, and purchasing records or CDs can make adifference as well.

Sheridan, Content Writer:

‘I was supposed to see a few of my favourite bands play this month, so with the money I was refunded, I bought band t-shirts! I am contemplating buying a record player, though, and picking up a few vinyls!’

4. The new living room gym

Don't let the gym closures steal your motivation. Think of this as a new challenge and an exciting chance to get inventive with your workouts.

In light of self isolation, there has been an influx of online streams from gyms, yoga studios and self-proclaimed fitness influencers.

Personal trainers are also offering video chat sessions if you need a little direction. 

Krish, Community & Social Media Executive:

I emailed a PT to ask whether I could pay them to put a 'at home' plan for me which has really helped!

5. Choose independents over chains

Shop consciously, not just conveniently.

Seek out local Italian or Halal grocers that hoard organic, authentic produce to see you through nights spent indoors. 

Daria, Head of PR:

My local corner shops often have things that supermarkets don't have anymore, including toilet paper, so we make sure to pop into our local corner shop and get a few bits.

Sharon, COO:

We are now getting all our meat from the local butchers and bread etc from the little bakery next door. It gives me an outing each morning to go collect whats needed...the bakers also do amazing fresh donuts each morning - not great for the waste line - but anything to help our local businesses!

Adam, Lead iOS Developer:

There’s an Italian bakery/cafe in Hackney called Frizzante. They come and deliver us ridiculously good produce like olives, sourdough and fancy cakes. Disgustingly boujee but look forward to 3pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Big old 2m spaced out queue to a guy called Eddy in a van.

Donald, Customer Success:

We bought a recycled/reclaimed timber-ed desk from an independent woodsman, instead of a major retailer.

Luka, Principal Software Engineer:

For food shopping, my first go to place is local store "Fresha"... Fruit and vegetables there are fresh every day, and they have far more interesting items that local Tescos (being a proper addict of Ajvar as relish, better meat and cheese products, etc..)

6. Do you really need a  refund?

While getting money back from cancelled plans can be an opportunity to bank some extra cash, ask yourself if that money could be better off with someone else?

Daria, Head of PR:

My gym isn't a chain (there's only two of them), so I'm not going to get a refund for the month I hadn't used them.

Krish, Community & Social Media Executive:

Any theatres that ask whether I want a refund for my tickets, I ask whether I can donate the cost of the tickets instead.

Alternatively, see if you can postpone or redeem a voucher instead of refund - so that way both the business and you are benefiting.

7. Buy in advance

For once in your life, you could actually be organised for Christmas. Stock up on your regularly used beauty products, buy birthday cards and presents early, or just use this as an excuse to treat yourself.

Office Manager, Dana:

I bought gift vouchers for a local tiny Italian restaurant to use when they reopen just so they can get a bit of money in the short term.

Donald, Customer Success:

I've bought workshop vouchers for pottery lessons with our local ceramicist to be used in the future.

If you've got a tip to share, get in touch with us via Instagram or Twitter.

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