Supporting Local From a Distance

Staff Blog Series – Aly

Hopefully you already know that our passion for shopping small extends beyond times of crisis. We truly believe our massive community of artisans, farmers, makers, and bakers are what keep Knoxville beautiful. We are so passionate in the success of these small businesses as they truly enrich Knoxville’s economy and are the social fabric of our society. It is also no small detail to add that the quality of service and product you receive from a local business is simply unmatched by big box stores. Anyone that has gotten a fresh loaf of bread from a local bakery- might we suggest one of our favorites Paysen, or visited a shop where the owner remembers your name or drink order knows exactly what we are talking about. Now, as a community, we all will play a huge part in the success of these local gems.

After weeks of rearranging marketing strategies and assisting our clients on new ways to reach our community we wanted to share a little list of how we can all take part in keeping our little city wonderful.

Use your circle of influence. It costs nothing to tell a friend or neighbor about the delicious to-go dinner your enjoyed last night or give a business a shout out of social media! This is one of our favorite ways to support our small businesses and is a huge help in extending the reach or creative enterprises. You’re positive review will always be the most important for of marketing.

Switch to local options whenever possible. Some of our favorite places to grab grocery, paper goods, and spirits are Three Rivers Market, Butler & Baileys, Corks, Cruze Dairy, and local farmers. A handful of local restaurants have also opened up their access to affordable food, which is a great unique way to get your hands on some items (including meat) and support local. Lonesome Dove has opened an Old City Market out of their Back Dough addition that we are loving!

Pay in plastic. When you are supporting local remember that their ability to show up to work is essential to our society so lets keep them safe! Touch as little as possible and avoiding the exchange of cash can help keep our neighbors healthy.

Order curbside or delivery! Eat out as you normally would! If you would normally plan to eat out three meals a week continuing to do so can make a world of difference to business owners that have changed up their business models for the foreseeable future.

Purchase a gift card. If your favorite local spot isn’t doing curbside delivery reach out and purchase a gift card! You will inevitably be using it in the future. Let’s pay it forward! We have noticed a few businesses offering gift card incentives, which can be a win-win! When you purchase a giftcard from our favorite local salon, grow, for every $100 you spend they will add an extra $20!

Learn a new skill and be your own barista! Local coffee shops, like The Golden Roast, have been posting their baristas making delicious coffee drinks from home! Visit their online shop to purchase the coffee and spend a little time following along with their barista while you learn new ways to make a delicious cup of coffee in your own kitchen!

Shop online! A lot of your favorite brick and mortar businesses have added a new e-commerce shop! Buy something! Buy something special from any independent business you believe in. Remember the positive impact these creative enterprises have on your city and do what you can to have a positive impact of their livelihood.

Be a good neighbor. This last step costs nothing and can make the biggest difference: check in on your friends that own a small business, check in on your friends that have been laid off, stay home whenever possible, and be kind.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Mr. Rogers

BONUS: Second Harvest Food Bank is in desperate need of funds and volunteers! You can contact Dylan at or visit their social at @secondharvestetn for more information!

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