Wondering what you can do to support small businesses hit hard by the drastic drop off in business caused by the COVID-19 outbreak? Want to make sure that you follow the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order? Here are 5 ways you can do both.
1. Buy things from community businesses online. Many of the small businesses you rely on for regular retail actually have online sales. Have your favorite locally-roasted coffee beans delivered, or splurge on those super-cool sneakers you’ve been eyeing. You know the quality will be what you have always enjoyed, and you will help make sure your favorite retail outlets are still there when the world returns to normal.
2. Buy necessities at local small businesses in person. Instead of going to a major grocery or drug store chain, get your essentials at your local market. Small businesses have far fewer reserves to draw on when business takes a dive in the short term. Replenish your supplies at locally owned stores where your dollars make a big impact. Please remember to follow social distancing and other Stay Home, Stay Healthy.
3. Buy directly from farms. Consumers can safely purchase from farms during the COVID-19 public health situation. Options include a CSA pick up on site, home delivery options, or farm stand hours. Washington State University Extension offers a directory for Small Farms: https://extension.wsu.edu/regionalsmallfarms/local-food-directory/
4. Get take out safely. Public Health Insider is sharing the best health and safety standards with small businesses still open for business. Guidelines include keeping a distance of 6 feet, not allowing sick workers to come to work, and heightened sanitation. Businesses following these guidelines can post a notice to make customers know they are following best practices. https://publichealthinsider.com/2020/03/23/our-role-in-safe-takeout-dining/
5. Buy Gift Cards from your favorite small businesses. Gift cards give cash to businesses now, while reserving an account for you later. If you really care about the businesses you rely on in your community and know you will be back for items in the future, this is a win-win. If you can afford it, load up on gift cards to help your favorite businesses with their short-term cash flow.
Remember, Stay Home, Stay Healthy is in full force and your health is most important.