COVID-19 has impacted all of us within the last few months, and it’s hit us especially hard in the past few weeks. All of a sudden, it feels like our lives have been flipped upside down. Restrictions are being placed on every aspect of daily life in order to keep the public safe and healthy, including closing non-essential businesses. Everyone is being told to stay inside in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve”. There’s been a huge surge in our sense of community, and despite needing to stay physically distant, people are finding creative ways to come together and get through the pandemic as a community. Part of coming together as a community means supporting our small and local businesses, essential and non-essential.
With dine-in options closed at all restaurants, takeout and delivery are still great options to support your favorite local restaurants. If possible, try to get delivery instead of takeout, in order to minimize your contact with others. Most delivery partners, such as Uber Eats and Grubhub, have introduced non-contact delivery options, allowing you to have your order dropped off on your porch. If you’re ordering through a delivery partner, do some research to see if they’ve waived fees for restaurants during the outbreak. If they have, the delivery partner won’t take a cut of the restaurant’s profit, making delivery a safe and profitable way to support local businesses.
If your favorite local store has a website and allows online orders, now would be a great time to order something online and have it delivered to your home! Since people are home more than usual right now, there’s been an amazing explosion of creativity on sites such as Etsy and Redbubble, and those are worth perusing as well. If your friends or people you know in the community have Etsy listings, try purchasing something from them, especially if they’ve lost another source of income. Purchase art and other products from people who are out of work. Twitter is a good place to find people “boosting” their online shops.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is extra-important right now, as we all struggle to connect to other people from afar. We can use it to help support local businesses during social distancing! Be sure to stay on the lookout for posts from local businesses. Share those posts as often as possible, especially ones regarding adaptations to the current circumstances. If a dine-in restaurant in your area announces that they will start doing deliveries, then share their post and encourage your friends to order something. Peer pressure can be a positive thing when it comes to supporting your community!
If you come across a local business that has a relief fund set up for their employees during this health crisis, donate to that relief fund if you’re able to. Helping individuals affected by job loss in this trying time is very important, and supporting businesses that are making an effort to support their employees is a great thing to do. If you’re able to contribute to relief funds, make an effort to do so and then encourage others to do the same on social media or through word of mouth.
Communicate With Business Owners
In this unprecedented situation, tensions are running high. Pretty much everyone is stressed out, everyone has had something canceled in the past few weeks that they’ve been looking forward to, and many small business owners are scrambling to formulate a plan to endure the next few months. Take a few minutes out of your day to send your favorite local shop a message on Facebook, or write a nice Google or Facebook review for the owner of the bakery down the street. Supporting small businesses isn’t just about providing financial support- it’s also about letting them know that the community is behind them. A note, a nice message, the knowledge that people are rooting for them- those things can mean the world to a small business owner in a time of so much uncertainty and fear.
Help Us Support Small Businesses
Blue Ridge Media Company is based in Cleveland, Ohio. We support small businesses by taking care of everything digital ranging from website management, SEO, social media management, paid advertising, and more- so that they can focus on doing what they do best. Contact us through our website or call us at (888)-535-2762.