The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a toll on people and families around the world. It’s also put a tremendous strain on local businesses, which are so vital to our communities. Many of these businesses have been forced to shut down or to scale back operations, putting a tremendous drain on cash flow. While this outbreak has made us feel powerless, we do have the power to help support local businesses in a few key ways. Here are 10:
1.Buy goods or services online. Many local stores are offering online ordering now. Where else can you shop in your pajamas without even combing your hair?
2.Order takeout or delivery. Many local restaurants have made picking up food and getting it delivered to you easier than ever. It’s the perfect excuse not to cook. Who doesn’t love that?
3.Purchase gift cards now for when establishments re-open. It’s a great way to give the business the cash flow it needs to pay staff today. Plus, when this is over, you’ll be dying to get out of the house and socialize.
4.Order ahead to limit traffic. Less time in the business is less risk to you and the employees who work there. Plus, you’ll eliminate the chance of getting in a fight over toilet paper.
5.Pay with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or a contactless credit or debit card. That way, you won’t have to touch cash or dirty key pads and it makes transactions faster. We’re sure your mother warned you about germs.
6.Buy local. Instead of buying from the big online retailer, buy from the neighborhood store. They probably even know your name.
7.Don’t come in if you’re feeling ill. If you experience any signs of illness, such as coughing or sore throat, stay home. You’ll be doing yourself and the employees a favor.
8.Write a good review on Yelp. (or Google, or Facebook) It will be valuable when the business resumes its normal operations. And besides, who doesn’t love to read nice things about them?
9.Buy from farms. Yes - farms often have restaurants they distribute to. Right now so many local farmers are offering food at restaurant prices plus you get some super fresh local produce, meat and fish this way!
10.Talk up the business on your social networks. If your friends see you purchasing from a local business, they may be encouraged to follow. Imitation is the highest form of online flattery.
These simple steps can go a long way in helping businesses improve cash flow, keep employees on the payroll, and boost morale (and let’s face it, we all good use a boost of that).