Support Your Local Businesses Right Now (If You Can)

As you are surely depressingly aware, the COVID-19 outbreak is having a massive impact on the United States at the moment. With health being of paramount concern, many businesses are either proactively closing or are complying with local or statewide orders. Unfortunately, these closures are hitting small businesses especially hard as they likely don’t have the same cash reserves that larger corporations hold to weather such storms (although this one is unprecedented all around). Therefore, if you are doing okay financially — whether that means you’re able to work from home and aren’t at risk of losing your job or have enough savings to last you for a while — you might want to consider how you can support your local small businesses. By doing so, you may perhaps even save some jobs as a result.

One great and simple solution I’ve seen others suggest is purchasing gift cards from local locations. Your purchase will help supply these establishments with some much-needed capital, hopefully allowing them to stay afloat. Plus, it’s not like you’re really losing anything as you’ll be able to use your funds once things return to normal (assuming the place doesn’t go under, but let’s stay positive!). Another note on this point is that several small businesses now have the ability to issue digital gift cards, so you won’t even need to venture outside in order to make your purchase. Plus, I’ve seen some locations even offering specials on their gift cards in a bid to help pay their staffs during the downtime.

Meanwhile, depending on where you are and what decrees your city currently has in place, some restaurants may still be able to operate on a take-out/delivery-only basis. With that in mind, Uber Eats is currently waiving delivery fees on orders from local eateries (although service fees may still apply). You can also double-check to see if your favorite spot is offering direct delivery as some that might not have previously had this capacity are currently adding it.

Incidentally, it’s not just eateries that may be delivering right now. Today I got an e-mail from a local roastery who will be making in-town deliveries for their whole bean and ground coffee. Additionally, if there are shops in your area that have online shopping portals, surely buying from them and having your items shipped can be a benefit to them during this uncertain time.

Like I said at the beginning if you aren’t in a financial position to help out via any of the means mentioned above, don’t worry! Just like on an airplane, make sure you secure your own mask first! However, if you are able to assist your local businesses by buying a gift card or placing an order for delivery, I’m sure it would be very much appreciated. After all, it’s through this type of support and camaraderie that will help us get through this dark time together.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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