Supporting Local Businesses During the Pandemic

While the government is focused on protecting the economy, there are multiple ways individuals can support local businesses during these tough times, whether they are coffee houses, music venues, or book shops.

Here are ways to assist small businesses to stay afloat during this COVID 19 pandemic.

1. Shop Locally – Both Offline and Online

The majority of small businesses that don’t generally provide online ordering are beginning to test the waters, so look to see whether this is something the shops you frequently visit are doing.

The social distancing guidelines have seen several retailers change their services to fit the ‘new normal.’ This has seen independent brewers supply beers right on your doorstep and book shops providing contact-free delivery.

The same case applies to household staples and food. If you don’t have any signs of the coronavirus, visit your local grocers or corner shop where you are likely to buy the things bigger supermarkets are running low on while simultaneously helping your local business community.

2. Buy Gift Cards

Purchasing a gift card from a locally-owned business and keeping it for use in the future is a sure-fire way of putting money into your favourite restaurant, theatre, salon, or shop while simultaneously limiting interactions and other non-essential services like delivery, shipping, and packing, which may need a need an individual to go to work or come in direct contact with other people.

It’s also an excellent method of showing business owners how much you value their work and show your customer loyalty in such unprecedented times.

3. Order Takeaway Food and Drink

Although most local restaurants have decided to close their doors completely, there are still a number of them that are doing takeaway and delivery services, including businesses that didn’t offer that type of service before. You can find a takeaway in Fleet or wherever you live just by searching online.

If you’ve got the money, you should consider taking a couple of nights off from cooking to assist local restaurants, bars, and cafes through the coming months.

Most privately owned food and drink enterprises are jumping aboard delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, but if your favourite outlet isn’t on the platforms, reach out to them and see whether they can deliver a meal or if they can sell the ingredients to help you make something for yourself.

Note that there are third-party apps that charge local restaurants extra for putting an added squeeze on finances, so order directly if you can.

4. Leave Good Reviews

If you’re not in a financial position to support your local business, there are various other ways you can assist, like following them on digital platforms and writing good online reviews.
With most bars and restaurants being compelled to close their doors to the public, leaving positive words of encouragement via Tripadvisor, Instagram, Twitter, or directly through phone call or e-mail is likely to give local business owners the strength they need to persevere.

5. Participate in Online Classes

From singing and creative writing to dance classes and workouts, there are various classes you can decide to participate in online. So, if your local business provides any of these options, take it.

With many facilities having to shut down temporarily, business owners are currently streaming online sessions to allow individuals who are self-isolating or social distancing to join from home and show their solidarity and support to the local business community.