No one saw this coming...
In every community, it is the local businesses that help to create the heartbeat of the community. They are the ones that are there to champion and cheer for new projects, community centers and innovations to come to your community. They are there when tragedy strikes and fundraiser is needed. They are there when your local sports team needs equipment. They are there when others are in need.
Today it is those same business owners that are struggling. Many of them unwilling to ask for help. Many of them to distraught to know how to ask. So I'm going to do it for them, because it is our time to step up and help them.
Here are some of the ways that you can help your local business.
Show them some love - leave them a review. Let the world know why your local businesses are the best the world has to offer. Leave that review on Google, on Facebook, on Yelp, on Trip Advisor on anywhere you can possibly find your local business represented. Heck when you're face-timing with your mom, your neighbor or even chatting with your dog, make sure you are telling everyone why you love these local businesses.
Send them a message. Many of these businesses are offering curbside pick up, home delivery or good old fashioned snail mail delivery. Pop them a quick message and ask how you can buy that item you've had your eye on. While you're at, let them know why you love having their business in your community. You never know what effect your kind and loving words will have on a business owner. How your words will fill their heart with the light on days that seem really dark.
Buy Now Shop Later - grab a gift card. By keeping cash flowing into these businesses, you will be helping the business owners to feel secure in knowing that the cash is there to keep the lights on when they reopen. Besides, you and I both know when this is over, we are all going to need some serious retail therapy - and perhaps a post quarantine wardrobe (or am I the only stress eater?)
Reschedule, don't cancel. I get it, no one knows when this is going to be over, but don't just cancel - reschedule. And if we are talking about the hair salon, you don't want to be at the back of the list when the doors open. I think when this is over we are truly going to know who the natural blonds are (and who are not). I'm a little scared to see just how grey and white my hair really is.
Keep shopping. The doors may be closed, but if you happen to walk down the street past your favorite shops, while maintaining a safe six-foot radius that is, you're not going to see empty shelves. You're going to see tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of inventory sitting on the shelves. These items are just waiting to be loved by you. No matter how much time and effort the business owners put into carefully selecting each item they carry, they don't want to keep it. Check it out and see if your local store has a website. Did you know many local bricks and mortar, mom and pop shops have websites? Even more, have been working around the clock in the last couple of weeks to get theirs live. Don't give your money to the big box stores or online giants, check to see if your local stores have a website. If they don't go back to the earlier suggestion and send them a message, or give them a call. They would love to get their products into the hands of people who want or need them.
While this may be a scary time for many business owners, one thing I know is that business owners are strong. You can't get into business without taking a risk, but even the riskiest thrill seeker never would have imagined this. So do what you can. Make sure you are supporting your local businesses in whatever way you can. If you can afford to shop - shop. It's that simple. If you can't then share their story. Let people know why your local businesses are the best there is to be had.
No matter how you can help, just help. Love on your local businesses, and remember we are stronger together.