Over the last month, our lives have changed, and we are all trying to find our new normal as we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. Together we can and will get through this time by supporting each other, especially the heart of our community – your local businesses.
Local businesses are owned by your neighbors, they employ your neighbors, and they create the unique fabric of each community. They know their customers, develop relationships with their regulars, and find ways to give back. Now we must support them and help them thrive during this time.
The coronavirus has caused many businesses to close until further notice or adapt to a new way of serving the community, leaving their future uncertain. If we want local businesses to survive, every purchase counts now more than ever.
Here are 10 ways you can help support local businesses, starting today!
1. Buy gift cards
If you're unable to visit your favorite store or restaurant, consider buying a gift card. Not only will you help their business, but gift cards will come in handy down the road when social distancing is no longer in effect. Not to mention, they make excellent gifts for birthdays and anniversaries.
2. Order takeout
Most restaurants are offering takeout, pick-up, and delivery options. You can order from your favorite spot online or through food apps, like UberEats, Grubhub and Door Dash. You can also use their app and rack up on rewards and points for later.
3. Keep paying your subscriptions
If you have a steady income, consider paying your subscriptions for gyms, cleaning services, personal trainers, etc. even if they are temporarily unavailable. If you have a babysitter, hairdresser, barber, or business owner who depends on regular clients like yourself, think about continuing to pay them, even partial payments will help. You have no idea how much you're helping those who are unable to work.
4. Shop locally
Social distancing is in effect, but many local stores are still open to their community. Small local businesses often carry a lot of the same products you find at the big chain stores. So, stop by and help them out by stocking up on the things you need. Many stores have online options, too, so you can still get what you need without leaving your house.
5. Hire someone for small projects
Now is an excellent time to tackle some of those home improvement projects. If you need lawn care, landscaping, or anything fixed around the house, hire a local handyman, gardener or carpenter. Some home improvement and auto businesses are still available.
6. Online classes
Just because you're stuck at home doesn't mean you have to miss out on your fitness routine. For those whose gyms and studios that have closed, try their online classes and live streams. Personal trainers and health instructors have also switched to online platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts. Some are running discounts, too!
7. Spread the word
Do you have a hot tip on a local business whose product or service has made your quarantine life easier or more enjoyable? Take to social media and let your neighbors and friends know! Some people don't know where to turn to get the things they want or need. Help a friend and share your suggestions and let them know about any special offers.
You can never go wrong by donating to those in need, whether it's online or with cash.
9. Shop early
If you can financially afford to do so, start purchasing for upcoming holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries for your friends and family. Many businesses are showcasing products on their social media accounts. Some are even doing delivery right to your doorstep.
10. Write a good review
If you're unable to help financially, then use your words. You can help a business by giving them an excellent review and referring them to others. Customers gravitate to stores and services loved by others.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is dedicated to helping small local businesses thrive during these difficult times. To learn more about some of the local businesses that are open and what services they're offering, visit Open for Business at cw18milwaukee.com/community/open-for-business.