How to Help Local Businesses in the time of COVID-19

No one is out. People are working from home, and schools, as well as colleges, have moved to alternative methods of learning. Sporting events from college through the pros have been canceled indefinitely, and we are all wondering when our life will return to “normal.” You feel trapped, yet you want to help. What can you do? Besides donating gloves and masks, you can assist your local community so it can thrive in the aftermath of the virus. How can you do that? Read on!

Order Food for Takeout or Delivery

Your favorite restaurants may have had to shut their doors, but many of them still offer takeout or delivery. Not only does that keep the business going, but it also provides income for restaurant workers. Services like Grubhub and DoorDash have sent information to customers and drivers to help ensure safe--and in some cases, contact-less--deliveries. Although, if a local restaurant is offering its own in-house delivery service, you should choose that over the third party option.

Buy Gift Cards

Want to inject some cash into a small business right now? Buy a gift card! By purchasing a gift card to a local gift shop, boutique, or restaurant, you are putting cash into a business. Think of a gift card as a win/win. The business owner will get a much-needed influx of money, and you have something you can enjoy later or give to a friend or family member as a gift. Sure, it’s hard to wait when you want to go out to eat or buy that outfit you saw in the store window, but wouldn’t be worse if the business closed as a result of the virus and you never got to go there to eat or shop again? Show your confidence in the local businesses by purchasing a gift card

Shop Local - Online and Off

Many local businesses have online stores in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations. Whenever possible, consider giving them your business. The delivery option applies here as well, with grocery stores in many areas offering Shipt. Are you going to pick up an order or takeout from a restaurant, and you love their signature dessert? Stock up! If it won’t go bad or you can freeze that food, buy extra! What’s better than NOT having to cook dinner or come up with a dessert for that post-pandemic family party? Does that local woman who makes those cute kids clothes offer to ship? Buy those birthday and holiday gifts now! You may even get a discount as a thank you! Keep in mind that as long as you are buying from someone in your community, you're helping to keep people in their jobs.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Is your favorite local eatery offering a deal or promotion if you order takeout? What a great way to get your go-to meal at a discount! How about that incentive for giving Uber Eats or Grub Hub a try? Nothing like getting your favorite restaurant delivered to your doorstep FOR FREE! And what’s even better is that some local eateries that didn’t offer delivery are now offering it through one of the providers mentioned above.

Tip a Little More Than Usual

If you do go to a bar or restaurant for takeout, consider being a little more generous with the tip of the staff that is there since their incomes are already lower as a result of fewer patrons. While a bigger tip may not help the restaurant's bottom line, it will help others. It also contributes to the spirit of goodwill and appreciation in the community, which can help with everyone's mood.

Where to Look

So we’ve given you some great ideas on how to help your local community during this unprecedented time in history, but where can you find information on who’s open, who’s closed and generally what is going on. Well, you can always take a look at a business's website. That’s a great place to go for information. You can check their social media pages as well. If you are in the local West Chester area, you can find almost anything you want to know about local restaurants on the Local Skoop West Chester Facebook page. The Skoop Facebook page is a great resource not only now, but year-round to see what is going on in and around West Chester. While it’s primary focus is on restaurants, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

So go out there, or order online for a contact-free delivery and help your local businesses survive so they will be there for your enjoyment for years to come.

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