In these challenging times, we’re presented with a unique opportunity to meaningfully support our community by supporting our local businesses. You can benefit by making some great purchases for yourself and the community can benefit by ensuring these local companies have a much stronger chance of returning to normal when the crisis has passed. It’s truly a case of doing well by doing good.
Here are 8 ways you can contribute to the local economy and come across some golden finds!
- Check websites and social media pages for details on how your favorite places are operating, including hours and any special instructions. For example, many restaurants and retail businesses have closed their inside areas, but are offering curbside service, delivery, or drive-thru. Bonus: Many restaurants provide an online menu, which allows you to place your order online or by phone—this provides less exposure for them and shorter wait times for you.
- Find out if your favorite businesses that are unable to offer a “to go” service are offering an online service. Many therapists, fitness instructors, personal trainers, financial planners, and consultants are making their services available online. Additionally, many tutors, art, and music instructors offer online classes as well.
- Can you buy locally before resorting to placing an online order from outside the community? Even if your favorite shop doesn’t have a robust online ordering platform, reach out to them by phone—they may have other resources available to meet your request. Many businesses were unprepared for a no-foot-traffic environment and have been left scrambling to compensate.
- Sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) or reach out to local farms that normally sell their produce at local farmers markets. Those farms may be able to deliver or provide a carryout option for fresh local produce.
- Like coffee or tea? Consider purchasing coffee beans from your local coffee shop to get your caffeine fix. Many coffee shops can provide a fresh grind and ship it to you upon request.
- For waitstaff who rely on tips for a good portion of their wages, consider a larger tip for curbside service or delivery, if you are able.
- For businesses that are currently unable to provide services, such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, and so on, consider purchasing a gift card for later use. Small businesses can use those funds now to stay afloat now and they’ll be ready to serve you when life returns to normal.
- Spread the word. Share information with your friends and neighbors about what is available from local businesses. Leave a great review about a local business. Make a post on social media about that great meal or that beautiful flower arrangement you picked up curbside.