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You’ve got some amazing purchasing power in your pocket – and I’m not just talking about your wallet. Your phone is all you need to support small businesses, from the organic grocer at the Saturday market to the new laundromat / coffee shop around the corner. Here are four great ways to support the budding enterprises in your neighbourhood.

1. Payments

If you live in one of the major centres (Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban), you have a wide range of payment options available. With Zapper and SnapScan, you load your card details into the app and set a password so that no one can swipe your phone, then swipe with your phone. Zapper and SnapScan are a favourite with small businesses because they're easy to set up, and you don’t need a card machine to accept credit card transactions.

Most market stalls these days accept payments with at least one of these apps, so it’s a great way to go cash free.

2. Online shopping

You really can buy anything online. If you want to support local artists and producers, there are some great options. Get your weekly organic veggies, buy contemporary African art, find stunning accessories and clothing or find the perfect housewarming gift.

3. Online reviews

One of the best ways to support small businesses is to tell other people about the ones you love. Word of mouth goes a long way, especially when it comes to things we’re passionate about. That’s why coffee shops develop a loyal following, and there are queues of guys waiting for haircuts every day outside Yogi’s Barber Shop in Cape Town.

Support your faves by posting a short online review on Google or Facebook.

4. Get help

Who’s your main contact in case of emergency? It should be the police or the ambulance, because what’s your mother going to do? 

On a serious note, there are times when you need help, and fast. Whether it’s a burst geyser or a sprained back, it’s good to have some good contacts. The simplest way to find help that is close at hand is to search Google Maps. This also works, by the way, if you need help to fill an empty tummy with “burgers” or “mexican food”.

You can also turn to the faithful Yellow Pages, the door stop of many households and the first point of reference for these kinds of things before the Internet. In these digital pages you will find anything from nursery schools and old age homes to butchers and physiotherapists.

Keep up to date

To use all these cool tools, you'll need a great smartphone. Upgrade with the latest cellphone deals with Vodacom Online - you'll get free connection, free SIM and free delivery. 


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