Whoa, what a crazy week. I mean, AM I RIGHT?! If you are like me then you are still trying to wrap your head around everything that has been going on as well as everything that is not going on…like leaving your home.
I am a work-at-home mom, meaning my son goes to daycare, and I work from my home. As you can imagine, I already spend A LOT of time in my house; so I truly cherish my moments outside of my humble abode. I love treating myself to a local coffee shops’ freshly ground beans every now and then, or the Thursday special from a restaurant down the street from me.
Now, however, those brief moments to myself are no longer options I can risk. While this obviously affects me, I will survive without a local coffee or meal. However, the businesses I frequent…may not. Most businesses, particularly restaurants, run on small margins and cannot survive more than a few days closed or without much business, much less for weeks or months like they may be facing.
So, what can we do to help them while still cooperating with the CDC? I’ve compiled a list of simple ways that we can help support our local businesses. Check ‘em out, and help ‘em out!
1. Buy Gift Cards Now to Use Later
Need to cancel your hair appointment, but know you’ll be rescheduling it for after the pandemic? When you call to cancel the appointment, buy a gift card that you can use when you reschedule so they aren’t out the money all at once. The same goes for restaurants! If you have some gifts to buy, consider purchasing gift cards to local eateries so they have that money now to float them through this dry spell.
2. To-Go Orders and Curbside Pickup
Most restaurants are closing their dining rooms to the public but are still offering drive-thru or curbside service. Take advantage of a fresh cooked meal while you can, and still provide the customers they need. Remember to tip them well too; it’s likely a waiter or waitress who usually survives on tips and now they have no customers!
3. Utilize the Internet
Many gyms and fitness studios are turning to online classes to keep you in shape and their businesses going! Take advantage of this! You can beat boredom, keep your immune system up, and still assist your local community from the comfort of your own home! And many are FREE!
4. Focus on Local Produce
Small-time farmers need our help now more than ever. Instead of buying all of your groceries at a large supermarket, consider popping over to a vegetable stand, or perhaps a neighbor that offers eggs from their own house (social distancing included of course). These small changes can mean the difference from going under for them.
Yes, I actually just told you to shop online…as though any of us have any trouble doing that! Just be sure to move away from Amazon and Target to focus on your local stores instead!
6. Consider Donating
This is not an option for everyone, but if you have the financial capability, consider a monetary donation to a local business. I guarantee they won’t forget your kindness.
7. Leave Reviews
Take the time to finally leave that five-star review for your favorite taco spot. Or give a shout out to the clothing boutique who always helps you find the perfect outfit.
8. Spread Kindness and Empathy
Do you have a connection with a local business? Do you know of a store that is desperately advertising but is having to close its doors temporarily? Shoot them a message to let them know you are thinking of them. This option won’t help them financially, but you could ease the pain of potentially losing their business. Times are tough, let’s rally as a community and do our best to pull everyone through!