At LOCALiQ, we love local businesses. We know that they’re the lifeblood of our communities – powering our economy, providing vital services for our friends and family, and offering unique experiences that make our neighborhoods feel like home.
We also know that social distancing, closures, and quarantines during coronavirus have been especially hard on local businesses – forcing many to temporarily close or completely pivot their business model.
So, we wanted to round up some ways you can help local businesses in your communities right now.
Buy Gift Cards
In this op-ed from Gannett’s presidents of news and advertising, Maribel Wadsworth and Kevin Gentzel, they outlined some ways you can support local businesses, including the importance of purchasing gift cards to use later.
We’re excited that Gannett has now launched Support Local, “a platform to help communities support and access small businesses all across the nation that are facing significant economic challenges due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic.”
Support Local provides an easy way for you to purchase gift cards from your favorite local businesses. Simply visit the site, search for a local business, add your favorite local business if it’s not on the list, and purchase a gift card. Local business owners or representatives can also add their own business to the list so patrons can easily purchase gift cards through Support Local.
Not only are you helping a local business see money coming in during this time, but you’re also giving yourself (or a friend or family member if you purchase a gift card as a gift!) something to look forward to once we’re in a healthier place.
Try Contactless Delivery or Curbside Pick-Up for Non-Food Businesses
Many businesses are now offering curbside pick-up or contactless delivery for their products – and this isn’t just for restaurants. My local bookstore is offering curbside pick-up for any item in their store – you just call, request the items you’re looking for, provide your credit card information, and pick up your items. This is especially useful for parents in my area who are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained and occupied while school is out now.
Check your favorite businesses’ websites to see what options they’re offering right now and see how you can continue purchasing from them right now.
While we’re not yet in a shelter-in-place situation where I am, my family has been trying to grab to-go orders from our favorite local businesses a couple of times a week. It’s a great excuse to save our food supply while feeling like we’re doing good to support our community. Most of the local restaurants near us are offering to-go orders, so it’s been a fun way to take a break from beans and rice and enjoy some delicious food in the comfort of our home.
Support Local will be adding more features in the coming days and weeks so you can easily order takeout from your favorite local restaurants.
And, if you are getting food to go or delivered, don’t forget to leave a good tip!
Prioritize Local Businesses
Now that you’re spending a lot more time at home, you’ve probably noticed items that you need, things that need repairing, and more around the house. When you go to order something, think about the local businesses that may offer what you need and see what their options are for delivery or pick-up. Chances are, you can find what you need to spruce up your home while supporting a local business.
These are just a few ways you can support local businesses during COVID-19. While it’s been a difficult adjustment for most people, local businesses have experienced a huge blow, and it’s our job as a community to find ways to continue supporting them as we're able.