Dollars & Sense

How to help small businesses during COVID-19

Many locally owned businesses are struggling because of COVID-19. With social distancing measures in place, small businesses are either drastically changing how they operate or shutting their doors altogether. However, there are various ways you can help local businesses stay afloat. Here are five things you can do to help small businesses in your community survive:

Purchase gift cards

Gift cards are a great way to support small businesses while maintaining social distancing. By purchasing a gift card, you’re still contributing to local businesses, and you can shop or go out to eat at a later date. This especially helps places that have had to completely shut their doors, like nail and hair salons or boutiques. Most places allow you to purchase gift cards on their website.

Continue to shop online

Shopping online is another fantastic way to practice social distancing and continue supporting local businesses. Despite closing their doors to foot traffic, many small businesses are still open and operating, offering curbside pick-up or delivery. Even if some businesses don’t have the option to purchase online, you can often shop by simply messaging them through social media sites like Instagram or calling the store and placing an order directly.

Get takeout

Many local restaurants offer takeout or curbside pick-up. Most restaurants are also waiving delivery fees or offering no-contact delivery—meaning the delivery driver leaves your order outside of your door. If you plan having your food delivered, try to order directly from the restaurant, so you know they’re receiving 100% of the profits. A majority of food delivery services take a portion of the profits for themselves or charge restaurants high fees.

Contribute to a fundraising campaign

If you don’t feel comfortable ordering from restaurants, you could contribute to a fundraising campaign. Many restaurants and other small businesses are starting fundraisers for their employees who aren’t working their full hours or aren’t working altogether. Most post the fundraisers on their social media pages—all you have to do is donate online. However, do your research to be sure that what you’re donating to is legitimate. And, if your favorite restaurant doesn’t have a fundraising campaign, you could even start one for them.

Share on social media

If you’re not in the place to contribute financially, that’s okay. You can still help small businesses by solely sharing their posts on social media. Share a local restaurant’s menu or a local boutique’s post about their virtual styling appointments—either way, a simple share goes a long way, and it’s greatly appreciated by many small businesses.