It has already been several months since the virus drastically changed the lives of many. Though social distancing and shelter-at-home orders are vital to containing the spread of the pandemic, it has proven to impact the small business sector negatively. Several local small businesses are on the brink of permanently shutting down if the coronavirus pandemic persists.
While businesses of all sizes have experienced the devastating blow of the pandemic, small businesses have had it harder since their operations mostly rely on in-person transactions. The decrease in cash flow to meet rental payments, staff payroll, and other expenses are just some of the concerns local small businesses face right now.
Local small businesses are vital to the economy. They introduce to the local community growth and innovation, apart from providing employment opportunities. So, how can you show some love to your small local businesses during this time of crisis? Here are five suggestions on how to do it.
Shop at Local Stores
When you need to buy necessities, consider shopping from local businesses. You may do it either online or in-person, exercising precaution when doing the latter. The key here is to get money flowing to small local stores rather than larger chains that are better equipped in handling the economic impact of the pandemic.
Order Delivery or Pickup at Local Restaurants
There are still states that have not lifted the dine-in option ban for all restaurants and local bars. Show some love to your nearby restaurants by ordering pickup or delivery. Order directly from their website or phone number. That way, you help these small businesses avoid third-party app fees. Do not forget to tip generously as these people are sacrificing their safety on the front lines.
Be Flexible on Payments
Many small businesses are having difficulty meeting obligations such as rent and other overhead expenses during this time. If you are a rental property owner, consider being flexible regarding rent payments until they can obtain government financial assistance or have their mortgage loans approved.
Purchase Gift Cards or Certificates
Another way of showing love and support to local small businesses during this COVID-19 crisis is by buying gift cards and gift certificates. That way, you help give financial assistance to support the employees and staff from companies like salons and yoga studios until things return to normal.
Encourage your family and friends to also do the same. You may even use the gift card or certificate as a present for a loved one. You will be surprised that not only do you shower some love to your family or friends, but you are giving the small local business some free exposure.
Give a Little Tip
Service employees are among those badly hit by the lockdown regulations. Whether you are ordering delivery or pickup, be sure to tip extra. Most of these workers mainly rely on tips for their income. Furthermore, they are risking their health, just making sure your order arrives safe and uncontaminated. Thus, a few extra bucks will help.
Aside from the suggestions mentioned above, keep those small local businesses in mind even after the pandemic. That way, you continually help stimulate the local economy.