Apart from having a devastating impact on our health and much loved public health care services, the Covid-19 pandemic is also crippling our economies, with many small and local businesses forced to close up shop. The pandemic and on-going uncertainties have left us with hundreds of questions that have yet to be fully answered. When will there be a vaccine? Will seniors get checks? What will happen to the economy? When will we be allowed to go outside and return to some form of normality?
While we are still waiting patiently in our homes for answers and a post-lockdown exit strategy, the service industry is hanging on for dear life. If you are in a position to help and inject a much needed boost to your local economy, here are three simple and safe ways to support small and local businesses.
- Purchase locally whenever possible
We’ve all seen the headlines and images of people stockpiling and buying ten packets of toilet rolls at the supermarket, leaving shelves empty and creating queues that end up winding around the car park. Instead of going to your area’s leading supermarket, consider purchasing your groceries from locally owned businesses instead, both on and offline.
Bread and baked goods can be purchased from the local baker and other groceries such as fruit and veg, and coffee and tea can all be found at either local grocery or coffee shops. Some restaurants are even converting into local shops, and many are offering delivery services online, allowing you to still eat delicious healthy food while maintaining the advised social distancing. By spending locally, not only will you be supporting businesses and helping the local economy, but it’ll also save you time when doing your weekly food shop and keep you safer in the process.
2. Follow your favourite businesses on social media for updates
With the news changing and constantly updating by the hour, social media actually tends to be more up to date than official business websites, which take longer to modify. Go to your favourite local cafe’s or beauty store’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to keep up to date with any new potential services or initiatives and see how you can support them. Many are offering new door-to-door delivery services and coming up with ways to put together creative ‘do it yourself’ packages in the absence of being able to provide fully-fledged meals, such as make your own acai bowls. Reach out and connect on their social media channels to keep up morale and let them know that you are supporting them throughout this difficult time. Also, make sure to leave good reviews for other potential customers to see if you should use a service. By doing this, you will be helping people to keep their jobs and saving businesses
3. Purchase gift cards
Buying a gift card to use in the future is a speedy and easy way to inject some much needed money into your local businesses, and all from the safety of your own home. By doing this, you are also limiting non-essential services and saving employees from having to expose themselves to the virus by doing door-to-door deliveries. This is a great way to show customer loyalty and will be a much-appreciated gesture by many business owners and employees.