Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses employ more than half of the working class in the United States. While they are a valuable asset for many great reasons, small businesses are often hit the hardest during crises. Take our current situation, for example. COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on local businesses, nation-wide.

So the question becomes, what can we do to help? The following may help you answer that question:

1. ORDER TAKEOUT OR DELIVERY

Your favorite restaurants probably had to close their doors because of state and local rules and regulations but are still available for take-out and delivery. Services like Ubereats, Grubhub, DoorDash, & Postmates have provided discounts like “Free Delivery” & sent information to customers and drivers to help ensure safety like contactless deliveries.

2. BUY GIFT CARDS

So your favorite local shop is closed? Buy a gift card. You may not use it immediately but it helps your local shop stay open during state-wide closures. And when things are back to normal, you can use your new $25 gift card to shop.

3. SHOP LOCAL BUSINESSES ONLINE

Many of your local businesses offer their products via an online store. Consider giving them your business! Use your favorite delivery apps also to find more online options too. Keep in mind that buying local helps support someone’s family, job, and community.

4. USE CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS

If you DO go out to shop, use a credit or debit card instead of cash to avoid the spread of germs. Traditional paper money and coins pass through many hands and we want to help keep our families and communities safe right now.

Hint: Credit card companies and banks are waiving fees, extending payment windows, and providing low interest rates to help.

5. TIP A LITTLE MORE THAN USUAL

If you are ordering take-out or getting a delivery, consider tipping a little more than what you would normally tip. This won’t contribute to a businesses bottom-line but it helps an individual whose hours got cut or worse…may be on the brink of losing their job. Contribute to the spirit of goodwill and appreciation in the community. In the midst of chaos, confusion, and uncertainty, kindness can uplift us all.

6. PATIENCE & GRATITUDE

Businesses are now dramatically reducing their capacity. You may experience longer wait times, longer delivery times, and out-of-stock items. Many small businesses are trying to do what they can to stay afloat while also serving the community. Extending your patience and gratitude can go a long way!