During the ongoing pandemic, many people have found themselves wondering how they can support the local economy while still maintaining a safe distance from others. While it’s important to help out small businesses to prevent closures and layoffs, it’s imperative to keep in mind the latest rules and regulations regarding safe practices in public. Here are a few tips on how to support local businesses during COVID-19.
Shop Safe, Shop Local
On July 13, the Governor's Task Force launched a state campaign called "Shop Safe Shop Local," aimed at encouraging consumers to support small businesses while maintaining safety. The campaign includes a website with resources for businesses.a The site also features videos of businesses discussing what they're doing to prioritize health and safety. Consumers can listen to what these and other business owners have to say and gain a better understanding of what they can expect when they go to a shop or a restaurant, for example.
Wear a mask
Because of a recent influx of COVID-19 cases, it’s now mandatory statewide in California to wear a mask in public spaces.b Wear the right type of mask—made of breathable but heavy-duty fabric—and wear it correctly, covering your nose and mouth at the same time. Wearing a mask helps protect you and the people you come into contact with from the spread of germs and is the best way to navigate public spaces.
It’s important to stay up-to-date when it comes to new rules and regulations regarding COVID-19, as well as staying on top of the latest offerings from local businesses. Since many public indoor spaces have been ordered closed across California, some restaurants may still offer curbside pickup, while your favorite stores may have set up an online shop to serve their customers.c Check out social media pages for more information as it’s released, and check government pages online to keep track of county-wide closures and business modifications.
Spread the word
Small businesses often rely on word-of-mouth to boost sales, even in this modern age. You can help your favorite stores and services by sharing their pages or posts on social media or by suggesting them to friends and family. If you’ve recently shopped or eaten there, share a photo and talk about why you enjoyed it. This is a great way to support small business owners in your area in a time when advertising budgets are lower than usual.
You might also consider offering up your services to help a business survive during this difficult time. If you have an area of expertise, such as web design or social media advertising,your favorite small business owner might appreciate anything you could do to help--free of charge.
Buy gift cards
One easy way to support a small business in your area is to buy a gift card, either for a friend or loved one or for yourself to use at a later date. The revenue will help immediately when closures and uncertainty are plaguing small business owners, and you and your gift recipients will benefit as well.
Adding a larger gratuity to your check is another easy way to support employees at your favorite local businesses. When many are struggling to make ends meet, it can be an enormous boon for workers in the service industry to receive a bigger tip than they normally would. Their duties may have increased due to extra hygiene precautions or fewer workers.
If you’re owed a refund by a small business, consider asking for store credit instead. Small actions like this can help store owners right now by allowing them to plan for the month ahead, which can help both their employees and their bottom line.
During these unprecedented times, it’s important to do our part to help our community survive and thrive. By following the state rules regarding COVID-19 and staying informed about the latest changes in your area, you can help small businesses stay alive. [cite::171::cite] [cite::172::cite]