We are all anxious for life to return to “normal” – or what promises to be our new normal – when the COVID-19 crisis is over. But to do so, we need to take steps now to help the local businesses we consider a vital part of our community fabric so they will be around when the pandemic is over.
Here are some steps you can take to help these businesses and their employees ride out the storm:
- Hit the Curb: In addition to restaurants, local essential service businesses can offer curbside pickup, including pet stores, pharmacies and grocery stores. Before you opt for mega-chain delivery, consider supporting these businesses first.
- Invest Now, Enjoy Later: This is a good time to buy gift cards that you can redeem later at restaurants, stores, hair salons, etc. Or purchase cards and donate them to those in need.
- Spread the Word: Promote your favorite restaurants by sharing their take-out or delivery services on your social media platforms.
- Pick A New Date: If you booked a facility for a special event and it was canceled because of the virus, consider rescheduling to host a post-COVID celebration.
- Pay if You Can: Many independent contractors, such as lawn service providers, cleaning services, hair stylists, etc., do not have the same safety nets that employees of larger organizations have. If you are able, consider making regular payments to them.
- Tip Generously: As generously as you can.
- Book ‘Em: If you’d been planning to have some work done around the house before the pandemic hit, reach out to your contractor(s) and let them know that you still plan to have the work done. Get on their books now and let them know you still value their services.
- Go Virtual: You can still attend music, yoga and tutoring lessons as well as therapy sessions online. So keep those appointments and pay promptly. These types of activities can be a great distraction and a way to support your overall mental health during the crisis.
- Share the Wealth: Look no further than the story below about U.P.’s own Chuck Foster to see how you can share your gifts with others who need the help desperately.
- Say Thanks: When you have the opportunity to interact with these businesses, let them know what they mean to our community and that you look forward to doing business with them again in person when the time is right.