Small businesses can support local B2B businesses during these trying times.
Small businesses can look to each other to drive sales during this trying time — and in the future. — Getty Images/andresr

While much of the talk about the struggles of small businesses during the pandemic has focused on consumer-facing businesses like bars, restaurants and retail shops, B2B-focused companies are hurting as well. Research from McKinsey shows that B2B firms are in the middle of a radical shift in how they conduct business and try to regain footing amid the pandemic.

In this environment, small businesses found that success can also play a role in helping local B2B companies. Here are seven ways your small business can help other local B2B-focused companies:

Buy products and services for your business locally

First and foremost, the best way for companies to support B2B businesses is to seek them out and buy their products and services. Everything from office supplies to PPE (personal protective equipment) to construction materials can often be purchased from local suppliers. Local service providers can also be consulted for construction, IT services and other business needs.

Join your local chamber of commerce to network with B2B businesses

One of the best things about chambers of commerce all over the country is that they create opportunities for B2B-focused companies to connect with businesses of all kinds. Chambers typically host in-person and virtual events so members can connect and exchange information. This can lead to meeting local business owners and setting up opportunities to buy from each other.

Offer to write testimonials and reviews online

As more people than ever use the internet to research businesses, online reviews have grown in importance. Research from BrightTalk suggests that a whopping 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, increasing from 81% in 2019. Given this trend, small businesses can help other local companies by offering to write testimonials and reviews on sites such as Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Yelp and Angie’s List. They can also offer to write a LinkedIn recommendation for a business owner with whom they’ve worked.

Research from McKinsey shows that B2B firms are in the middle of a radical shift in how they conduct business and try to regain footing amid the pandemic.

Promote local B2B businesses on social media

Small business owners regularly use social media to highlight the products and services they offer, but they can also use it to talk about B2B businesses they work with and admire. Businesses that have a presence on services such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter can write an endorsement or film a video about another business to help spread the word.

Share resources including spaces and employees

One creative way businesses can help other local companies is to share space and potentially even employees. If, for example, a business is located in the same building as yours, lobby space or basic office supplies could be allocated for communal use. Similarly, if you share space with another business, you could share a receptionist or cleaning company. This can help another business in need and save your company money.

Lobby local governments to support small businesses

If your small business has clout in your community, one thing you can do to make a broad impact on B2B businesses is to lobby with local governments on their behalf. Small businesses can have a say in how local governments shape budgets and spend tax dollars. Owners of influential small companies can ask that the government create policies specifically to help small businesses.

Donate via GoFundMe or other online fundraisers

In these challenging times for small businesses, some have created GoFundMe pages or online fundraisers to raise money to stay afloat. Crowdfunding by using fundraising platforms can provide a lifeline to long-running, well-respected companies that are facing a crisis. Small business owners can show support for local B2B businesses that are asking for financial assistance with a GoFundMe donation.

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