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How to Support Small Businesses Amidst COVID-19 Reopenings
As states and businesses start reopening, it’s important to consider what types of businesses were affected most by the COVID-19 crisis. Big box stores stayed open because most were essential and still able to operate and generate revenue. Mom-and-Pop shops, however, suffered. Many small, local businesses have permanently closed since the nation shut down and those that are still open are struggling to stay afloat. It’s vital that we show our support and reinforce our local small businesses right now. These are our neighbors, friends, and relatives. These businesses are what make our communities shine! Here are a few ways to help out those businesses and boost our local economy.
Seek Out Your Local Mom-and-Pop Shops
Want to eat out tonight or try something new? Skip the normal restaurant chains and look for some locally-owned restaurants nearby. I do this all the time using Google Maps on my phone or computer. Just search for eateries near you and they’ll pop up on your map! You’ll be able to pick something close by, and given the recent changes due to COVID-19, most are prepared for easy pickup or delivery orders. You’ll also be able to look at their menu and read Google reviews by searching through Google Maps. This is one of the easiest ways to support local businesses. The best part is that it’s as easy as a quick search and as close as the McDonald’s on the corner!
What about your grocery/household shopping? You can skip the big box stores for certain items and check out some locally-owned grocery stores and markets. You can also seek out Mom-and-Pop hardware stores for all of your home repair needs. Again, an easy Google Maps search can point you to these local stores and give you a good idea of what they sell and what other customers are saying about them.
Also, remember that some businesses don’t have storefronts and may even be just one person. Want to get your hair or nails done? Look into independent stylists and hairdressers in your area. These individuals often rent a booth at a local salon to meet with their clients. Some have even taken to delivering beauty products to your front door as a way of maintaining social distancing but still keeping your business. Whatever the case is, don’t forget to support the solo, independent entrepreneurs of your town!
Look At Community Bulletins and Newsletters to Stay Informed
Many neighborhoods and communities have online bulletin boards to keep you posted on the latest news, guidelines, and local business openings in your area. If you don’t know where to start or aren’t sure if your neighborhood has one, check out social media. If you have Facebook, look for groups that are based in your area and focused on local events. If you aren’t big on social media, go to your local news channel’s website. They often have numerous community resources listed on their webpage to keep you informed about all the latest happenings in your neck of the woods.
These bulletins are great at spotlighting local businesses and their owners. You may also be able to subscribe to some sort of community newsletter. These newsletters are also great at keeping you informed and sometimes they can feature coupons to use at your local Mom-and-Pop shops. Community newsletters love supporting small businesses this way, so be sure to find out if your area has one.
Ways To Support These Businesses
Frequenting these businesses isn’t the only way to support them. Think about purchasing gift cards to these shops or restaurants to give to your friends and family. This is a great way to extend support and turn your loved ones onto them, too. If you enjoyed your time shopping or dining with the business, leave a good review. This small gesture can go a long way for that business and the owners will often see and truly appreciate your kind words. Spread the word to your neighbors about them and if you use social media, give them a shout out! Most businesses, big and small, have a presence on social media. Tweet or post about them on Facebook and tag them so their followers can see! This is a great way to show your love and send more locals their way.
Remember that even as things start to reopen across the country, the threat of COVID-19 is still prevalent. Show your love to these local businesses by shopping there and doing so safely. Follow CDC guidelines on public shopping to show you care about the health and well-being of that business as much as they care about yours.
CDC Essential Errands Guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/essential-goods-services.html