The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many small businesses to temporarily close their doors. Most of them are struggling to keep their heads above water, and the rebuilding process will certainly be an uphill battle. With that being said, there are a variety of ways you can support your favorite small businesses and help them rebuild after COVID-19. Here are just a few of the actions you can take to help out.
Connect with Small Businesses on Social Media
One of the biggest ways you can help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is through social media. To make this easier, Facebook and Instagram have rolled out new features to help users discover and support local small businesses. These include:
- Facebook’s #SupportSmallBusinesses hashtag
- Facebook’s “Businesses Nearby” feature
- Instagram’s “Support Small Businesses” sticker
Use these features when you share pictures and posts of a take-out dinner from your favorite restaurant, the mulch delivery from your local greenhouse, or your family wearing masks made by a local seamstress.
You can also leave online reviews for your favorite companies on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Tripadvisor, and other platforms. Share and react to their content to boost their exposure among your followers. This will also help you stay updated on their recovery efforts so you can support them by purchasing specials or featured items.
Take Advantage of Curbside Pick-Up and Delivery
Many businesses — especially restaurants — are still offering curbside pick-up and delivery services. You may not be able to sit down at your favorite establishment, but you can still lend your support. Having trouble finding supplies at the grocery store? Some restaurants are even selling perishable items, toilet paper, and paper towels!
Buy Gift Cards and Gift Certificates
Another great way to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is by purchasing gift cards or certificates for future use. This provides businesses with immediate support through an infusion of cash. Gift cards are great presents for birthdays and holidays, or you can use them for your family down the road.
Shop at Local Businesses Online
If your favorite local business has an online store, consider making a few purchases to help them stay afloat. Branded merchandise and accessories, like a funky T-shirt from a nearby ice cream shop, are the perfect gifts for you or your friends and family. They also help build the business’ exposure because other people will see you wearing or using these branded items.
Donate to Local and National Recovery Funds
Many communities are soliciting relief resources for people who have found themselves furloughed or laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider making a donation to help your neighbors survive during these difficult times and rebuild after COVID-19.
There are also a variety of national organizations that you can donate to. For example, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation established a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and has raised more than $20 million for out-of-work restaurant employees.
Take Virtual Classes When Possible
Stay-at-home orders and self-isolation don’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite activities. Many gyms and fitness centers are offering at-home, virtual classes to help people stay in shape. You can also continue your (or your family’s) lessons with tutors, music instructors, therapists, and more.