While Americans nationwide practice social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners are worried about the future of their establishments. Here are a few ways you can still support your favorite local businesses.
Support Small Businesses
Order carry-out or delivery. Dining isn't an option for many restaurants as state-wide mandated closures become increasingly common. Many restaurants have adapted to the changes and are offering carry-out and delivery options, if they weren't already before. Connect with your favorite eatery and skip cooking dinner at home. Some local businesses have even partnered with popular food delivery services such as Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash.
Shop online. This isn't a new concept, but maybe it's time to update your shopping habits with a few new vendors. While not all local boutiques or stores offer online shopping, many do and are finding new ways to engage with their customers online. Check out their social media channels and find out how you can continue to shop local while practicing social distancing.
Connect on social media. Many small businesses, including gyms and athletic clubs, have ramped up their social media presence. Find your favorite local businesses on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and you'll likely learn that they're still connecting with their patrons digitally.
Take advantage of discounts. Many small businesses are offering discounts or coupons to those who place carry-out orders or shop online. Find out what the local businesses in your area are doing to drive business and take advantage of these discounts - tell your friends too!
Buy a gift card. Consider purchasing a gift card to your favorite local boutique or coffee shop and plan to use it at a later date or give it to a friend or family member as a gift. This is a great way to help out small businesses receive some income now, when they need it most.
Up your tip. If you order carry-out or delivery and you're able, consider being extra generous with your tip. While a bigger tip might not hit the bottom line, it will help those in your community who are working hard during this troubling time.
Continue paying for services, if possible. Some of the hardest hit businesses are those in the service industry - dog walkers, house cleaners, landscapers, barbers, beauticians, and more. Practicing social distancing, often times, means stopping these services. If you have a house cleaning service or a small gym that you are dedicated to, consider continuing to pay for those services during this time.
Shop at local grocers. While you scramble to find essential items like canned soup and toilet paper, consider shopping local! They need your support now more than ever and might even have the products you're looking for.
Let's continue to support each other during these unprecedented times - let's get through this together.