Five Ways to Support Local Businesses During COVID-19

Local businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create jobs, diversify communities, and make our neighborhoods special. Unfortunately for millions of small businesses in America, COVID-19 has disrupted their plans. As shelter-in-place guidelines encourage citizens to stay home whenever possible, independent businesses are suffering.

While the government is offering ways to support small businesses during these unprecedented times, there are also things we can do as consumers to keep these businesses afloat. Our spending habits can save many of these businesses during these tough times.

Below are five ways you can support your favorite local businesses during COVID-19.

Buy gift cards

Cashflow is critical for businesses trying to survive. Purchasing gift cards allow your favorite local business to access revenue even while closed. This is a great option if you can spare to invest in that business now and not get a return until the future. Think of your local barbershop, nail salon, or food truck that was forced to close during the pandemic. They can all use that extra cashflow right now.

Order takeout

It’s no secret that eating out isn’t what it used to be. Making reservations, romantic table lit dinners, and loud restaurants are not an option at the time, but takeout is. Fortunately, many sit down restaurants have pivoted their business to now offering takeout to adapt to current times. So, if you’re planning to indulge in an at-home date night, keep your local restaurants in mind. Remember that while big corporations might have investors backing them up, small businesses often just rely on you.

Rethink how you replenish

A stocked pantry has never had more value than it does during these times. If you’re running low on groceries, cleaning supplies, or other essential items, think of creative ways you can replenish them while you support local businesses. Whether it’s a farmer’s market, independent retailer, or family-owned pharmacy, prioritizing your spending with these local businesses can make a big difference.

Share on social media

Along with small businesses, this pandemic has also impacted the lives of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs. If you’re currently strapped for cash, you can still help support your favorite local businesses by sharing them on your social media platforms. Any positive exposure can greatly benefit them during this time. You never know who’s looking for whatever it is they offer.

Continue to check-in

Depending on the industry, different businesses might require different methods of support. If you have a close relationship with the business owner or employees, don’t be shy to check in on them. I recently did this with my nail tech. Her and her husband work in the nail industry, which has been greatly impacted by the closures. A simple message or call can brighten their day.