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How to Help Businesses as they Start to Reopen

Businesses are starting to reopen across Massachusetts and it hasn’t been an easy switch over.  All businesses have to consider how they can operate safely, they have to provide training to employees, buy PPE equipment and take things slowly.  While the economy is reopening, the threat of the COVID19 virus remains.

So how can you, as a consumer, help businesses as they reopen?

We spoke to a variety of businesses on ways their customers can help them.  Read below for tips from restaurants, breweries, retail stores, therapists, estheticians, hair salons, gyms and even essential services.

Here’s what they had to say on how you can help them:

1) Shop local
Now, more than ever, it’s important to shop local.  Whether it’s your local farm stand, the brewery in town, a gift shop, or hair salon.  Businesses who are invested in by the community now will be more likely to continue to be open after the pandemic is over.

2) Be patient
Everyone is adjusting to how we can all go out to eat safely, or shop at a store safely.  This includes employees who may have to take more time to sanitize in between serving or wash down high touch surfaces such as door handles.  Many businesses are also operating with less than half of their employees so the workload is greater. Be patient and be kind.

3) Follow the rules
If a business is asking you to wear a mask, use sanitizer, observe social distancing, it’s important to do so. They are watching out not only for their customers but for their employees safety as well.  Most importantly, if you aren’t feeling well, don’t go out and visit these businesses.  The result could be employees getting sick where they don’t have enough people to open their doors, which could have a permanent effect.

4) Continue to buy take out/gift cards
Outdoor dining and curbside pick up still only go so far.  Many businesses said that their customers who have bought take out or gift cards have kept them afloat.

5) Essential doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling
We heard from many “essential” businesses that while they were able to keep their doors open, they still saw a lot of decline in services and income.  Consider helping these businesses as well and give them a call!

6) Share online
Write an online review or recommendation for businesses you love.  Did they go above and beyond for you during the pandemic or even before?  It’s not too late to recognize them. If you’ve already left a review, consider helping them by sharing some of their posts on social media or inviting friends to like their page.

7) If you’re not comfortable – there are still options
Like telehealth visits or curbside pickup, delivery or remote meet ups.  It’s all about your comfort level.

8) Not every business will reopen quickly
That’s a personal choice from the business owner and their employees.  They may not be ready to open, or may not have the capacity for outdoor dining.  Just like consumers, businesses need to do what is right and comfortable for them.

Reopening is no easy task and it will be a slow process but if we all work together, we can help keep our local businesses not only survive but thrive during and after this difficult time.
Thank you to all the business owners in our community who helped to write this blog.