If you're interested in supporting your local business, but aren't sure how you can make an impact, here are some simple ways you can participate.

    We all have busy schedules to manage, and it can seem difficult to make time to make a difference. If you are looking to support your local business community, here are 5 easy and fun ways you can help this weekend:
    woman supporting local business economy buying at farmers market

    1. Shop at local farmer's market

    While you're doing your weekly grocery shopping this weekend, stop by your local farmer's market. This is a simple way to change a normal chore into doing something beneficial for others by supporting local agriculture. The food you will find will be fresh, because it's been grown nearby and hasn't been shipped across the country. You can find cheaper, organic produce at a farmer's market. If you have concerns about the processing of your food, you can speak to the farmer himself about pesticides and preservatives used. Best of all, you get to see the smile on that farmer's face when you buy his locally grown produce.

    2. Discover local workshops and classes

    Your community is bound to have tons of workshops and classes run locally. Find a local class in something that interests you such art, fitness, cooking or dance. Get a friend to join you on a Saturday to try something new, and you can enjoy yourself while supporting your local community. This can help keep dollars in the local economy. Small businesses recycle much of their revenue back into the community, which creates more jobs locally.

    3. Write a positive review online

    As a society, we often focus on the negatives when we choose to post a review online. Help out local businesses by leaving positive comments when you receive good service. Actually, 90% of yelp users say positive reviews online effect their potential purchase, according to Mashable. Remember that a simple post on social media or a reviewing site can bring more people to local businesses, and allows you to share your positive experiences with others. Share the love this weekend, post a positive review about a local business you love.

    4. Pay with cash or cheque at your local businesses

    When shopping at local businesses this weekend, try to use cash or a cheque to pay. Although we often think it is often more convenient to swipe our card, business have to pay a fee each time you use a credit or debit card. Local business typically must buy their own equipment for accepting cards, as well. This is a simple way to make a small difference in your local business economy.

    5. Try progressive dining

    A new trend that's becoming popular is progressive dining. The idea behind this concept is that you eat different courses of meals at different locations. For example, maybe you start at a local bakery for a scone you read about online, then for lunch you check out the lasagna at your local Italian restaurant, and finish up trying the new snow cone stand on the corner. Make a day plan with some friends, and let each person choose one local food item to plan for the day. This is an easy and fun way to try all those local places you never got the chance to, while supporting the local economy and spending time with your friends.