Best Ways to Support Local Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic gripping our nation, you’ve seen friends, families, and coworkers staying home as local bars, restaurants, and other businesses close their doors. You may be wondering what you can do to support your local businesses without risking yourself or the health of those around you.

1. Shop Online

With massive retailers like Amazon and Walmart on center stage, it’s easy to forget that most of your local stores have also made it to the digital world. From your local corner market to your favorite clothing shop, it’s easier than ever to shop online or order a grocery delivery. Search online for stores in your area to help support local businesses and keep your friends and neighbors employed during this tough time.

2. Shop Nearby

blue open sign on a shop door You might not know which businesses are still operational in your area. A quick Google search for what you need will show you who’s close to your home. Pick up the phone and give them a call to see what services they still offer or visit them online to stay up-to-date with their actions. Many business owners with coronavirus concerns are striving to keep their community and customers updated on social media and online.

3. Buy Gift Cards

There are a number of places that have to close down during the coronavirus epidemic that can’t offer their services at all. You can still support these local businesses when you buy gift cards to use in the future. Do you have a favorite local bar, pool hall, or gym that is closed? Visit them online and buy a gift card to use when they do open up again. Ensuring they still have money coming in allows them to pay employees and keep up with expenses — even if they don’t have customers.

4. Use Credit or Debit

paying with a credit card at a store While you obviously pay with a card when you’re shopping online, there are times when you have to make a physical trip to your local grocery store. In these cases, protect yourself and those around you by paying with your debit or credit card. Paper money passes through so many hands and collects tons of germs. You could be exposing employees and store owners to coronavirus when paying in cash. Supporting local businesses also means helping their employees stay healthy. Limit the spread of germs to ensure you don’t pass on illnesses that could keep local employees home from work.

5. Pay in Advance

Some businesses have made the decision to stop operating because they want to limit the risk of exposure for their customers. Whether you use a home cleaning service, dog walker, or baby sitter on a regular basis, you can still make sure to support your local businesses by paying in advance. Even if you can’t book their services for a set date, you’re providing them enough income to survive and keep their business open for the future.

6. Stay Home

a free delivery sign in a store window If you’re sick, you don’t want to put others at risk by going outside — even for essentials. We know there are some things you simply can’t do without, but if shopping online isn’t an option, picking up the phone still is. Calling the stores in your community to request a delivery helps their businesses stay open and ensures you don’t get anyone sick. When employees drop off your purchases, request that they leave them at the door to comply with coronavirus concerns and minimize contact between you and other individuals.

7. Be Patient

Because there are some people panicking, many stores in your area may be experiencing trouble restocking. Even delivery times may be extended because stores are working at reduced capacity. Support local businesses and respect their struggles with patience and solidarity. Order well in advance and expect long wait times whenever you do order something.

8. Share On Social Media

connecting on social media There are probably many other people in your community wondering how to get what they need and support their local businesses at the same time. If you’ve discovered a local grocer or corner shop that can help during this time of social distancing, share with your friends and family on social media. You’ll boost the visibility of the business, ensure your family is getting the essentials they need, and help local stores stay open.

9. Leave Reviews Online

Leaving reviews for businesses online also helps expand the visibility and presence of smaller companies. While reviews on social media are great, leave reviews on respected directories such as Yelp as these extend far beyond your social circle and allow others near you to learn about local businesses that can provide goods and services they need.

10. Thank Employees

thank you spelled out in blocks While purchasing products and services provides a lot of support for local businesses, your thanks can also deliver a massive boost in confidence and morale. Even people who still have jobs are scared and worried over coronavirus concerns. Thank employees that are working overtime to ensure you have what you need. Spread kindness and goodwill instead of germs!