My Itinerary

Supporting small business with more than money

We see it everywhere - "support small business!"

But what does that actually mean? How can we support small, local businesses further than just spending our money there? Thankfully, there are some very easy ways to help the businesses you love thrive.

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Someone types on their laptop. Image courtesy of Christin Hume via Unsplash

Leave reviews

It can be all too easy to forget this one, but leaving a Google review can make a world of difference to small businesses, new and established alike! Whether it's the first time you've visited or the thousandth, it's never too late to drop a review for them. Sharing positive and constructive feedback can help shops, cafes and restaurants improve their customer experience, and celebrate some well-deserved wins.

When writing a review, consider:

  • Any exceptionally good customer service - did they search for a product for you, go out of their way to tailor a service to your needs, help you find similar items in a different price range, accommodate your dietary needs without hesitation, offer advice or give you a kind word or a laugh? Mention it! Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff deserve recognition and praise.
  • If there was something negative about your experience and the business corrected it or went out of their way to mitigate it, don't be afraid to mention that either! Mistakes happen, what matters is how they're amended and learned from. If it wasn't handled well, try and give constructive feedback for the owner to read - they'll probably take it on board.
  • Points of difference between the small business and bigger retailers/eateries - maybe the little café you love has a safe kid's play area, the boutique you go to for gifts stocks locally made artisan products, the clothing store you tried on a whim offers a much larger size range than you thought they would, or your favourite bar gives amazing wine recommendations. Maybe your daily coffee shop now gives a discount for keep cup users, or has sustainable practices in place to minimise food waste. What about this small business makes you want to go back? What about their ethos makes you want to support them? Get specific!
  • The venue - was the café airy and full of natural light? Did the restaurant have an intimate, romantic atmosphere? Was the store easy to navigate? Were there nice big mirrors in the dressing rooms for taking selfies? Was their décor quirky and interesting? If you notice something about the space itself that is a big positive for you, give it a mention!
  • Special accommodations - if you visit a local business and notice that they cater to people with prams, coeliacs, wheelchair users, people with sensory issues, dog owners, vegans, cyclists, are an LGBTQ+ safe space, or anything in that vein - shout it out! These factors can be vital information for people looking for places to go who have niche needs.
  • Will you be going back? Say so!

Some businesses may even specifically request reviews on different websites, like the Australian Good Food Guide or even on social media - if you can, please consider doing so. You can even copy your Google review and recycle it.

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Hands holding a jar of cash savings. Image courtesy of Melissa Walker via Unsplash

Pay with cash

It has long been said that cash is king, and that's still true today. Shopping with cash instead of using your card can mitigate fees to the business for use of point of sale systems. Shopping with cash also allows you to leave tips if you wish to, keep coins handy for parking, and can even help with budgeting!

Keeping cash handy also lets you take advantage of roadside fruit and veg stalls and other similar small scale sales, be better prepared for emergencies, and perhaps best of all - internet and power outages don't affect your ability to pay.

📍 For a map of ATMs in Launceston, click here

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Someone takes a photo of a spread of food using their phone. Image courtesy of Eaters Collective via Unsplash

Follow and interact with them on social media

It might not seem like a big help, but following and interacting with your favourite small businesses on social media can boost them into other people's feeds and give them access to a whole new audience. Sharing, commenting and even just liking/reacting to their posts can make a world of difference - if you tag your friends too, then even better! This helping hand has the added bonus of keeping you up to date on their specials, sales and services as well.

We all secretly love an aesthetic food pic on Instagram or a mirror selfie of your new favourite outfit, too - tag the business when you post them, they'll love seeing their work appreciated.

Posting to local online community groups is another great way to lend a hand on social media. Let everyone know what a great experience you had and invite them to share their stories in the comments as well!

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Hands pass a paper heart between them. Image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

Talk to them

If you've got a small business or two that you frequent and you have the time, pause and have a chat with whoever is behind the counter or on the floor. A little conversation and getting to know one another can do a world of wonders for staff, management and owners as well as yourself - connecting with the people in your local business community helps us all remember that we're just people doing our best, and we're in it together.

In an age where we're constantly bombarded with news and advertising and content, taking the time to speak to real people in person is so important. It can be all too easy to forget that the face behind the counter also has a life, family, hopes and dreams all of their own. While shopping online may be convenient, it can never provide the same experience as going to your local store and having a friendly face remember your name. Embrace the small town feeling that Launceston is so lucky to have - who knows, you may even make some new friends!

Are you interested in reading some interviews with small business owners in Launceston? Check out our blog, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Cyclists enjoy a coffee together at Valley Coffee. Image courtesy of

Tell your family and friends!

At the end of the day, word of mouth is still the best way to support small businesses. Your opinions are trusted and valued by the people you care about, so if you want to share a business you love with them, do it! Go and visit together if you're able, and if they also love it, encourage them to also do the things we just talked about here - leave a review, follow on socials, all the good stuff. Together, we can make a real difference in our local economy.

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A chalkboard-style sign that reads 'thank you for shopping local' in hand written text. Image courtesy of Tim Mossholder via Unsplash