With people being urged to stay home and socially distance themselves, it’s hard to support local businesses. However there are some things you can do to show your support and help them get through this difficult time.
Buy gift cards – If you have the extra money right now, consider buying gift cards from your favorite local businesses. That little bit of money can help that business right now, and you can treat yourself to a lunch date or a massage when the pandemic ends.
Order takeout or delivery – If restaurants are still offering takeout or delivery, take that opportunity to support them and use it as an excuse to not dip into your stash of groceries yet.
Order online – If local shops have ordering available online, make some orders. Ideally, they are still able to ship out products. Even if they’re not, though, you will still get those products, and you will have helped a local business stay afloat.
Shop local for quarantine needs – If you’re trying to stock up for a quarantine, shop locally. Find a local drugstore to get cold medicine, get groceries locally, get kids’ toys and activities at a local toy store…that money goes directly back into the community and helps the people around you afford to keep themselves (and, in turn, you) safe and healthy.
Don’t cancel services – If you can afford it, don’t cancel your dog walker, house cleaner, lawn service, fitness studio or any other business that helps make your life better. These people rely on you for money, and they would certainly appreciate not getting laid off during a pandemic. Even if you don’t want to use their services, consider paying them anyways as a form of appreciation. We’re all struggling right now, so it’s nice to do your part to help others when you have the means.
Stay sanitary when shopping in person – The last thing any business wants is to be the source of spreading a virus. Most businesses have started to clean more frequently and eliminate any items, such as ketchup bottles and reusable coffee cups, that could become contaminated. Wash your hands before and after going into a business, practice social distancing by keeping six feet between you and the next person and cover any sneezes or coughs. Make sure to also sanitize your car door handle, steering wheel and any door knobs in your home so you don’t spread any germs.
Use a debit or credit card – When you do your shopping, consider using a card as opposed to cash. Cash and coins pass through so many hands that it is impossible to sanitize. Limiting the amount of cash you use can help limit the spread of germs.
Stay home if you’re sick – Self-quarantine doesn’t mean just staying home from work—it means staying away from anyone who can get sick. A lot of local businesses can’t afford to have sick employees, especially if it’s a mom and pop with only a couple employees.
Show appreciation – Everyone is struggling right now. One simple “thank you” or “I appreciate everything you’re doing to keep this restaurant clean” will go a long way to a frustrated business owner. Instead of pouncing the carts of toilet paper as they’re being stocked on the shelves, politely ask the employee if you could grab one or wait until they’re on the shelf. Common courtesy is easily forgotten in times of panic, but that’s what we need to keep our sanity.
Ask how you can help – If you don’t know what you can do to help a particular business, just ask them! They might say you can buy a gift card or they might just thank you for the offer, but letting a business owner know that you want to help them is so important.
Refer to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.
You can view the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread here.