Many local businesses have struggled through the coronavirus pandemic as people sheltered in their homes to practice social distancing. As stay-at-home orders begin to be phased out, here are six different ways you can support your local economy while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines in your state.
1. Donate to local charities
Donating to local nonprofits creates an impact that goes beyond a specific mission. Contributions to local charities are often invested back into the community, according to the National Council of Nonprofits, as donations are used to purchase and distribute resources to support local individuals and industries.
Your #AZGivesDay 2020 donation to ICM can be deducted on your 2019 tax returns if you haven’t yet reached your Arizona Charitable Tax Credit limit. Donate now to make a meaningful investment in your community: https://t.co/LYAyJ2vnYG. pic.twitter.com/0aQdLXMm0T
— ICM Food Bank (@ICMFoodBank) April 6, 2020
Countless charities already offer social-distancing-friendly ways to donate, and many have set up even easier options in the past few months. You can donate to many charities on their websites or drop off supplies at their buildings without getting within six feet of another person.
Volunteerism does not necessarily require being in a large crowd or joining a non-profit organization. For example, delivering groceries or donating blood are two safe ways to make a difference.
— AmeriCorps (@AmeriCorps) March 31, 2020
Just like donations, volunteers help to mobilize members of the local community and stimulate local economic movement.
3. Order takeout or delivery from local restaurants
Many local restaurants are struggling to stay afloat since people are staying home to flatten the curve. However, many local eateries are still offering takeout and delivery options.
Instead of ordering from large fast-food chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks, see if any local stops are still open and purchase food from them.
— National Restaurant Association (@WeRRestaurants) March 24, 2020
Lunch or dinner, our kitchens are open in your neighborhood. Let us cook for you. pic.twitter.com/TIAZaqIftr
— National Restaurant Association (@WeRRestaurants) April 1, 2020
Many local restaurants are not only contributing to the local economy, but also looking out for the neighborhood by donating food or helping local residents get the supplies they need to get by.
4. Buy gift cards for local businesses
As NPR’s Planet Money correspondent Kenny Malone pointed out, gift cards act almost like an interest-free small loan for businesses, since the service in question will be cashed in on at a later point in time.
Even if people don’t use the gift card right away or even at all, the business still gets the money and can use it to help support themselves while they endure this pandemic.
Buying a gift card is a simple gesture that can help a small business keep their lights on and their employees paid as they deal with the ongoing hardships.
5. Leave positive reviews online
Positive online reviews encourage potential customers to order from a given establishment or give the place a try when things open again.
I saw this post about how to support small businesses and it’s a GREAT idea! While you’re home and have some extra time:
WRITE POSITIVE REVIEWS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ONLINE!!!!
GOOGLE, YELP, FACEBOOK, TRIP ADVISOR, NEXTDOOR even you local PTSA group or HOA message board. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/ivwOTEPMZf
— Independent Grounds Cafe (@indiegrndscafe) March 17, 2020
A review doesn’t cost anything to write and could help a great local business acquire more customers.
More customers could mean more revenue for small businesses, which can only help them to get through this unprecedented season.
6. Support your neighbors
There are people in every neighborhood across the world that have been affected in some way by the coronavirus.
As noted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, lending a helping hand, whether it’s with groceries or even with rent, makes a huge difference.
Since everyone is a part of the local economy, any means of supporting a neighbor supports the local economy.
Of course, any amount of generosity in this time of fear, hardship and sickness doesn’t only have economic benefits.
Extending help to those in need serves as a reminder that the world can get through this together, no matter the distance.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.