Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they need our support now more than ever. In the midst of the global pandemic, non-essential businesses have been ordered to close their doors. While many of us are going to miss dining at our favorite restaurant and getting our hair cut, millions of workers are no longer able to go to work and make their living.
Ways You Can Support Local Businesses
Luckily, there are some things you can do to support your local businesses that are feeling the tensions during this unprecedented time.
Buy gift cards
Many of our favorite businesses such as breweries, restaurants, and shops offer gift cards. Purchasing a gift card can offer cash flow that isn’t available to them while their storefronts are closed and in some instances, can be essential to keeping them afloat.
You can find a list of local businesses offering gift cards and purchase them here, including Urban Axes, The Charmery, and many Baltimore favorites. If you don’t see your favorite business listed, you should give them a call and ask if you can order a gift card directly from them.
Order carryout/delivery from your favorite restaurants
Many local restaurants are urging consumers to order directly from them for carryout and delivery services instead of through a third party food-delivery service like GrubHub and DoorDash. Baltimore Magazine put together a great list of restaurants currently open for carryout and delivery. Don’t forget to tip! You can also support your favorite restaurants by tipping their employees through the Baltimore Tip Jar.
Recognize your favorite businesses on social media
Social media is a powerful tool, and social distancing has led people to spend more time on their social accounts than before. This is a great time to show your support for local businesses by posting about them online! Give them shoutouts, leave positive reviews, and share their social media content to your friends and followers. Did you recently use Atomic Books’ free delivery service? Give them a shout out! Did you get amazing curb-side pickup from Clavel? Tag them in your Instagram story!
Order from a small business before checking out Amazon
Before signing on to your Amazon Prime account, consider giving your local store a call to see if they can place an order and deliver for you instead. If you find yourself needing a hammer, give your local hardware store a call first. As a buyer, you are also an investor. Be thoughtful in where you invest your money. Big players like Amazon don’t need your investment as much as your local shops do during such uncertain times. For example, the next time you need hand sanitizer, consider ordering from Mount Royal Soaps.
Volunteer your time and skills
If you have the availability to offer your own skills on a volunteer basis, see if you can provide some support. No matter your skill set, it won’t hurt to reach out to small business owners to see if your time could be of great benefit to them. For some, it may be helping them plan for the future and for others it could be helping them stay operational now. Either way, this is a great way to provide help and support your local businesses.
While this is a trying time for businesses everywhere, we can help them stay afloat by showing our support in these few ways. If you’re unable to offer your money or time to these businesses, consider giving local owners a simple call to check in on them. Kindness and compassion go a long way, especially during times like this.