The Coronavirus has caused major waves in the economy over the last few months putting many local businesses at risk. When the marketplace struggles, so do job creation and other services. The guidelines and restrictions being imposed on companies at the state level may be out of our hands, but there are multiple ways to support our local community still. 

Here are some ways to help your local businesses, economy, and neighbors during Covid.

Shop Local

In times like these, try and steer clear from the big-box chains and national retailers instead opt for local small businesses. Check to see if they have a website for placing online orders or call in your order and arrange for either delivery or request a curbside pickup. They likely have a Facebook page too that you can visit for business-related updates, hours, and product information. If an in-person visit is needed, remember to practice social distancing, wear a face mask, and wash or disinfect your hands before and after. If a business offers gift cards, now is the perfect time to purchase one and use it over the next few months. They also make great gifts! 

Eat Your Favorite Food (at home)

Restaurants and bars have arguably been hardest hit from the start of the pandemic and are the first to close if/when cases begin trending upwards. Luckily, ordering takeout is a low-risk way of supporting your favorite places. If you use delivery services, ask to have the food left on your front steps to minimize contact. If you opt for a curbside pickup or choose to dine-in, ensure the establishment is taking the proper safety precautions. And consider leaving a larger-than-normal tip for servers or delivery drivers then you otherwise would have pre-Covid.

Take Advantage of Online Offerings

While you may not feel comfortable going to the gym, attending religious services, or classroom-based activities, you don’t have to miss out on them. One silver lining we can rely on during this difficult time is our friend, the Internet. Many organizations have online offerings that you can take advantage of that keep you connected and involved. Shifting from in-person to online may feel impersonal, but it also allows us to explore remote opportunities we might not have during normal circumstances. Also, leave an online review or a comment on social media pages and help spread the word to your friends and family network. 

Other Ways to Help

Choose to donate, or increase donations, to the community organizations you rely on, making a positive local impact. If there is a crowdfunding initiative in the community, consider taking part and contributing to that too. Volunteering, preferably outdoors, is also a great way to help those in need when done safely. 

You’ve likely heard the phrase “we’re all in this together” since the beginning of Coronavirus, and it’s especially true at the local level. Dollars spent at local businesses are dollars that stay in t