While schools are keeping students home for online learning days and parents are encouraged to work from home, our focus is small in many ways. That includes some of the small family businesses we’ve come to know and love.
Many of your favorite local businesses are definitely struggling in light of Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. And, while you might feel helpless to support them, you’re not.
There are plenty of ways that you can continue to support your favorite local businesses during the COVID-19 shutdowns — and practice social distancing, to boot.
Here are four simple ways you can support small businesses while stuck inside.
1. Buy gift cards
A gift card now is money in the register that a small business can use to continue operating or pay their workers. Plus, you have something to look forward to after COVID-19 is under control.
Check with your favorite local business to find out if you can pick up gift cards curbside, or if they offer them virtually.
2. Shop by phone or online
Because “non-essential” businesses, including many and stores, have been closed under the current order, in-person shopping is out of the question. That said, plenty of shops are now offering phone or online shopping.
Call up your local store or check their websites to see if they offer these options. It’s great for them and it’s good for the customer, who likely won’t find as many random price hikes while shopping local online — and can get some items sooner with local delivery.
3. Eat out at home
Many local restaurants that didn’t previously have added carry-out or delivery options to their menus.
If it has been a while since you’ve been on the GrubHub or Caviar apps, check for new restaurants to pop up.
Some are also offering discounts for new customers or for delivery during certain times of the day, helping to keep kitchen staff working during what would otherwise be down times without regular lunch traffic.
4. Maintain social media contact
Keeping in contact with stores through social media allows customers to know how the store is doing, when events have been rescheduled or canceled and when sales are posted.
Plus, the more you repost and interact with these stores through social media, the more people are seeing them and it becomes more likely others will step up to help, too.