As the coronavirus pandemic disrupts all aspects of daily life, the economic effects are bound to be lasting, even months after it settles down in the unseen future. As students and workers are asked to stay home and recommended to only journey out for essential trips, businesses across the country are suffering from a major loss of patronage and revenue. A necessary sacrifice, however, is done at the cost of business owners, workers and producers that contribute to its function. Many places continue to provide their services remotely or with little contact, such as with delivery or takeout from restaurants. However, this venue is used at a much lower volume, and other places that require close contact, such as salons and spas, have no way to sustain themselves during this time. Here are some ways you can continue to support your local businesses from the safety of your own home.
Buy gift cards and certificates
You may not be able to provide your patronage in person at this time, but if there’s a certain business you know you would normally frequent, purchase a gift certificate to go towards a visit in the future. Many places allow you to buy gift certificates online, and by choosing your own amount, you can provide as much as you desire and are able to at the time. This can support both restaurants and service businesses, so look forward to a nice manicure or haircut in the future.
Restaurants that are still able to pay their employees like chefs and delivery drivers are staying open in hopes of generating even some revenue. Commit to order meals from your favorite places maybe once a week or even more frequently. Check with other places, like bookstores or even florists, to see if they are still offering their services with adjusted purchasing options.
You can either order curbside or delivery — if you choose the latter, tip as generously as you can. Many places are even offering non-contact options, like having them just leave the order on your doorstep.
Reschedule instead of getting a refund
If you had an event or appointment scheduled during this time, instead of canceling it and getting a refund, try to reschedule it for a date much farther into the future (to be safe) or have a holding appointment in the near future. Businesses won’t lose more money than they already are, and will appreciate knowing they can count on your patronage. For events like local concerts that aren’t able to reschedule their shows, consider donating your ticket amount to the group.
Support through social media
If businesses are still providing their services through adjusted means or have certain promotions happening, share it on social media or by word of mouth. Many people don’t know what’s open anymore, and this comes at no cost to you. A quick like, comment or share can make a difference.
Leave good reviews
Now’s the time to catch up on those Yelp reviews you said you would do but forgot about. Mention your favorite meal to order or service to receive from a certain restaurant or salon. Even a quick note and starred review will help businesses out.
If all else fails, if you feel comfortable doing so, any amount of monetary donation is bound to be appreciated by your favorite local business.
Hollie Lao is a staff writer and the social media manager for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.