Local businesses have taken the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. While big business operations have largely been able to withstand the massive economic downturn, your local businesses may be suffering. The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do as a consumer to support your favorite local businesses during the pandemic. Here are five ways that you can offer support during this challenging economic time.
One of the segments of the economy hit the hardest by the ongoing restrictions in the restaurant industry. The restaurants that will make it out of this time are the ones that have been able to pivot to a takeout or delivery model of business.
This presents a lot of opportunities for the local community to lean into their favorite restaurants and order food from them to eat at home. Many restaurants are adapting to this new way of business by offering family-style meals that are more affordable than ordering a separate meal for each member of your family. Some restaurants even take this another step further by providing meals that you can prepare at home.
Look Into Local Markets
It is tempting to lean on the convenience of Amazon and other big-box grocery delivery services during the pandemic. However, you are doing your local mom-and-pop stores a huge disservice if you shy away from shopping them during this time just because it is an inconvenience to you.
For example, when looking for a quality Miami market, consider choosing a place where you can support the local economy. Many of these markets even offer shipping right to your door, making them just as convenient as other retailers. As a bonus, when choosing a local store, you will enjoy goods that are locally sourced and specially curated for your particular area.
Buy Gift Cards
Just because you cannot use a vendor’s service now, it does not mean that you will not be able to use it in the future. Buying gift cards for later use is a great way to support your local economy in the present time while still retaining some value for yourself.
Buying gift cards are an especially good idea for businesses that are not able to provide services because of COVID-19 shutdowns. This includes movie theaters and spas. While you may not be able to cash in on the value now, you will have them to use later. In the meantime, you are propping that business up so that it survives.
In addition to the vendors that may be struggling during this crisis, you also need to be aware of the workers that also may be having a difficult time making ends meet. You can help to offer support to them by being intentional about tipping well.
This philosophy applies to any type of service employee. Even if you are just ordering takeout or delivery, be sure to tip if applicable. You can also tip your grocery delivery driver or any other person who provides a service to you. If you are one of the lucky people who has not seen their income affected as a result of the pandemic, it is good karma to spread the wealth to those people who have experienced a loss of income.
Spread the Word
Another excellent way to support local businesses is to spread the word about how great they are. Local companies can always use good press. Be sure to share with your friends and family when you find a business that is worthy of your support.
Social media provides an easy outlet to get the word out about businesses that need help during this time. If you enjoy an excellent meal, consider sharing this on your own personal social media account. All of this positive press will generate interest so that your local economy can retain its customers and maybe even pick up more.
You will not regret making the effort to support the local economy during this time. If you want to ensure that these businesses are still around when the world begins to normalize, you need to take these steps now so that the businesses survive and thrive.