First and foremost, don’t stop shopping at local businesses just because of the quarantine. Even if the country is hunkering down for the long haul, these smaller establishments still need to be able to pay for their buildings and their payrolls. Focus on buying from these stores to help keep them going until things return to normal.
Already quarantined, or don’t want to put yourself and others at increased risk? Then shop online. Many stores have an online shop that will let you browse and buy without exposing anyone.
Buy gift cards
Another option for helping now is to purchase a gift card to your favorite shop or restaurant. You may not be able to use it immediately, but it does immediately put cash into the business. This will help keep the business afloat, allowing it to still be around when you can finally go in and treat yourself to that (now) free meal or item.
With the latest recommendations, nearly all chances to dine in have been suspended, meaning that the more common way of helping local restaurants has been removed. However, many independently owned restaurants and food businesses are now taking advantage delivery platforms like Postmates, so take the opportunity to have your favorite local foods brought to your home.
You can also use the delivery instructions to leave notes for the delivery person, should you be at risk or quarantined. Additionally, online payments permit you to pay for not just the meal, but for the tip as well, limiting the amount of contact you are having with other people. And speaking of tips…
Tip a little more than usual
Employees such as delivery people are highly dependent on the tips they receive in order to live. With reduced business and no in-person dining, their income will be dramatically reduced. Help make up the difference by adding a bit more to the tip you usually provide.
While this will not directly help the business you are supporting, it is helping an employee in need, a fellow member of your community. This both helps them and creates a stronger sense of community, which is what we desperately need in this time.
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