How You Can Help Local Businesses After Coronavirus Pandemic
Due to the abrupt changes in the economy caused by the Coronavirus, many small businesses in the US have begun operating in the red. Understandably, the American public has as much concern for the health of these businesses as they do their own personal health.
Fortunately, many in this country have expressed a desire to lend a hand to keep these businesses afloat. If you’re concerned about supporting local businesses in the Boulder area, here is a list of ideas that we’ve come up with at Boulder Home Source to help get the ball rolling again.
Check-in With Your Favorite Stores
COVID-19 has forced many of your favorite local businesses to adapt quickly to the situation at hand. That’s why it’s so important to check in with them. These savvy business owners might have created some workarounds to keep their doors open (in a manner of speaking).
Here are some examples. Local gym owners and the trainers who work for them may have begun live-streaming workout classes. Many of the classes are operating on a donation basis. If you can afford to chip in some extra cash to pay for the classes, do so.
Other businesses affected by the Coronavirus, like the local toy or craft stores, may have switched out what they sell. For example, the toy store may be stocking homeschooling supplies to help parents keep their kids up to speed now that school’s out. Craft stores may be stocking materials that would be suitable for the creation of surgical masks.
Shop Online at Local Stores
Many local stores have an online presence. They can and will have items delivered. By shopping for their goods online, you lessen the chance that you’ll get or spread COVID-19 and be supporting them at the same time.
Buy Gift Certificates
Restaurant patrons and other people who are interested in supporting local businesses have passed around this idea. Here’s how it works. If there is a local restaurant (or other business) that you love, buy gift certificates from them. The restaurant owners can use the money from gift certificates now to pay their bills. You can go back later to eat there.
This is one of the options that the Boulder Home Source team loves. We often have sales and client meetings at our favorite restaurants. We look forward to a future date when we can again.
And a different but related note: If your favorite restaurant offers carryout or delivery, order from them. You’ll get a break from the food you’ve been eating at home and give them a boost, too. If you do get food this way and if you do have an option to tip, then tip well. Many restaurant workers don’t make minimum wage. They rely on tips to make up the difference.
Donate Instead of Asking for a Refund
One of the big disappointments for many arts patrons has been the number of cancellations they’ve experienced. Live concerts or theatrical performances for which they held tickets have been canceled.
While these organizations have been willing to offer refunds, we suggest allowing them to keep the money. Consider it a donation to keep your favorite local playhouse or dance company open. Many of these businesses already want for money. Many are non-profits. Your donation could keep them afloat.
However, it’s not only non-profits that are getting cancellations. It might be a private tutor for your child or a small local newspaper that relies on local ads to keep solvent. Don’t ask for a refund. Just allow them to keep the money if it’s possible.
Continue to Pay People
If you have the means to do it, continue to pay people who you regularly patronize. This could be your hairdresser or your housekeeping service.
Start a GoFundMe Campaign
If you’re good at fundraising, you might consider starting a GoFundMe campaign to help someone you know out. It could be a campaign for an individual business, like your favorite restaurant, or it could be a whole industry. If you don’t feel comfortable starting the campaign yourself, you can contribute to campaigns that are already in motion and encourage others to do the same.
The Coronavirus has taken its toll on people’s bank accounts, their jobs and in many cases, their health. It has taken an even greater toll on local businesses in many respects. These business owners have people depending on them for work each day, work which these employers can’t give them right now.
While we can’t change that fact, we as a community can do something to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. We challenge each member of the community to do as much good as they can for as long as this lasts.
What are your ideas for supporting local businesses through this time?