Below is a short list of actions consumers can take to support small businesses during the fight against COVID-19. This list has be gathered from multiple sources across the web and from email exchanges with local business organizations and Chambers of Commerce. Please push these out to consumers in all communities.
1. Order Takeout or Delivery
Your favorite restaurants may have had to shut their doors, but many of them still offer takeout or delivery. Not only does that keep the business going, it also provides income for delivery drivers.
2. Buy Gift Cards
Want to inject some cash into a small business right now? Buy a gift card. Even if you aren’t buying anything else because you’re stuck at home, you can give your local shops or favorite restaurant a vote of confidence by spending even $25 on a gift card to use later, when life returns to normal.
3. Shop Local Businesses Online
Many local businesses have online stores in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations. Whenever possible, consider giving them your business. The delivery option applies here as well, with grocery stores in many locations offering Shipt. While I’m a fan of shopping local when you can, keep in mind that as long as you are buying from someone in your community, you’re helping to keep people in their jobs.
4. Use Credit or Debit Cards
When you do go shopping, use a credit or debit card instead of cash. Paper money and coins pass through so many hands and carry all types of germs. Limiting the amount of cash you use can help limit the spread of those germs, which is especially important right now.
5. Stay Home if You’re Sick
Don’t put others at risk if you’re sick. That seems like common sense, but consider using a delivery service if there’s something you really need. Many of the small businesses in your community are working hard to get through this. The last thing they need is for their employees to get sick because a customer went out when they shouldn’t have.
6. Be Patient
In many cases, businesses are working at a dramatically reduced capacity. There’s a good chance that you’ll experience longer waits or encounter out-of-stock items. Trust me, every business is feeling that pain. They want nothing more than to be able to meet your needs. When they can’t, extend a little grace and patience, remembering that they’re working hard to stay open and serve their community.
7. Say Thank You
When you do go to the grocery store to buy what you need (as opposed to hoarding toilet paper), be sure to say thanks to the employees who are hard at work stocking shelves. It can be easy to forget that many of those employees are working overtime to keep their store clean and full of the food and supplies customers need. A simple thank you can go a long way to spreading a little gratitude and goodwill.