Nearly 100,000 establishments across the USA that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business. That was according to a recent Fortune magazine article. This means all communities must work harder to help those small businesses that have managed to survive. And this weekend especially, you have a chance to do so on Small Business Saturday.

Normally on this occasion, customers are asked to shop locally, rather than at a big box store or online. You are still urged to visit brick and mortar stores on Main Street USA. But here in Salem, Ma there are some extra things taking place.

Review Relay

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28th, and consumers are invited to participate in the Review Relay. You are to write reviews of favorite restaurants, retailers, services, creatives, and any other business you may want to support.ย 

Whether it is five stars, words of encouragement, or re-sharing, small businesses need your support now more than ever!

  1. Pick three businesses to support.
  2. Leave them a glowing review.ย 
  3. Tag someone you think should also leave a review.

The hoped-for end result is to fill up the news feeds and inboxes of these small businesses with compliments and appreciation!

Where can you leave reviews? Of course you can go to the business sites on Google My Business and Facebook. But there are also specific websites, for example for restaurants: Gayot, OpenTable, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Zagat, and Zomato.

The Review Relay is part of the #staylocal2020 campaign.

Stay Local

Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem explains, โ€œ#StayLocalSalem is a collaborative promotion that uses the #StayLocal2020 campaign developed by Creative Collective as the catalyst for a marketing initiative created to inspire locals to shop in Salem.โ€ 

She continues, โ€œA postcard mailing is going to nearly 19,000 Salem resident households to invite them to #StayLocalSalem when shopping this season. Destination Salem, Salem Main Streets, Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Creative Collective have incentivized the local shopping promotion with a punch-with-purchase program that will enter anyone who gets 5 punches into a drawing for 2 great Salem staycation prizes.โ€ 

The #StayLocalSalem program will run from December 4 โ€“ 31. More details and a list of participating businesses can be found at www.salem.org/staylocal.

Promoting the Entire Holiday Season

Knowing the importance and strength of partnerships in the face of the current challenges, Creative Collective & Salem Main Streets, along with The Greater Lynn Chamber & Lynn Main Streets have combined strategies to provide support to a cross-industry selection of small businesses.

Kate Fox further explains, โ€œIn a city like Salem, where our downtown business community is composed of independent small businesses, every promotion that reminds consumers of the importance of shopping local is important. 

This year, in light of COVID-19 and ever-evolving consumer sentiments towards shopping and dining out, we are less focused on Small Business Saturday as we are on promoting the entire holiday season as a time to patronize the stores and restaurants that are owned by our friends and neighbors.โ€

Over the course of the next two months, all the partner organizations will be creating individualized campaigns to reflect their community of businesses while cross-promoting and collaborating on an effective marketing campaign including original programming, content, and initiatives. 

For example, the Greater Lynn Chamber will be offering a weekend getaway, as part of the initiative, to North Conway by using the #staylocal2020 hashtag while Creative Collective will be running a series of โ€œRoad Tripsโ€ where you will safely and socially distantly visit some of the participating businesses!

Whether you write reviews, shop locally on Small Business Saturday, patronize the stores and restaurants during the holidays or just promote on social media using the hashtags #staylocal2020 and #reviewrelay2020, get involved in your community. You have the power.