I'm sure you are all aware of Small Business Saturdays (the day after Black Friday) where you are urged to shop local to support small businesses. What I'd like to know is why is this "push" only promoted one day a year? These small mom & pop stores/restaurants need your support all year long and NOW more than ever. Yes, your big box stores maybe cheaper but is the quality there? Would you rather put money into the pockets of these mega wealthy owners or help your local store/restaurant pay their employees and mortgages? Without our support, I'm afraid that many of these businesses will not be able to bounce back from this current situation. I personally don't want to see this....do you?
Now, I know this lockdown makes it difficult to get out there and shop. But here are some ways you can help.
1. Gift Cards
Whether for yourself or for a gift (***Mother's Day is May 10th***) most restaurants and stores offer gift cards that you can purchase online.
Many restaurants have converted their business to takeout/curbside. Others (like most pizzerias) are offering "hands free" delivery. Once you pay for your purchase online, they will drop it on your step, ring the bell leaving you with a nice hot meal and no physical contact with the driver. And this isn't limited to just food! I've seen where some bookstores, florists and local boutiques are offering the above services.
3. Online Services
Missing your gym workouts? Do you need help finishing your taxes or perhaps extra assistance with your child's homework? Seek no further then that local provider/service's website. Many businesses are offering streaming services so you won't miss out on a HIIT workout, therapy session, tutoring, music class etc.
Having a hard time finding flour, eggs, vermouth? Have you thought about ordering these items through speciality stores? Here is a list of local mills offering an assortments of flours/milled grains. In need of fresh produce/meats/dairy? This website will help you locate a vendor in your area.
***Farmers need your help as well. Since a lot of restaurants are shut down, farmers have a surplus of fresh produce that they need to sell. Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) ensures you're helping that farmer stay in business while feeding your family fresh produce and preventing food waste. Every CSA is different so you'll need to research how yours works. ***
5. Promote Local/Small Business' Via Social Media Accounts
If you're not already following your favorite small business on social media, it's time to start. A lot of restaurants in our area our offering daily specials/take-n-bake deals etc. They usually post these menus on facebook/instagram/twiter/ etc. Why not repost them? Sure, it may not be a meal that you're interested in but it might be for one of your followers.
Money is tight right now, I get that. If you have the financial means to donate a few dollars, I highly urge you to do so. Animal shelters to your local food bank are all facing bare pantries and are in desperate need of our help to feed others (& pets) that can't feed themselves.