5 Ways to Support Small Businesses
There’s no doubt that small businesses play an important part in our community. Restaurants, retailers, and many other businesses have had to make dramatic changes to their business models to remain open and afloat during this pandemic. These locally owned businesses could use all the help they can get and we’ve put together a few ways for you to support them during this time.
1. Ordering Takeout or Delivery
Local restaurants are staples in many neighborhoods. They provide the closest things to home cooked meals and family atmospheres that south Louisiana is known for. If there’s room in your budget or if you’re tired of cooking, consider ordering takeout or delivery.
For many of these restaurants, dine-in options are no longer available. They are relying completely on togo orders. If your favorite local eatery did not offer this before, check again. Many businesses have added a togo option as a way to remain open.
If you’re feeling extra generous, consider ordering food for friends or loved ones or purchasing gift cards. If you have elderly neighbors or family members who have limited cooking ability, they may love a nice meal prepared by someone else. If you don’t feel comfortable ordering the food, a gift card would be a great way to pay for their meal, even if you don’t know what to get.
2. Leave a tip
While this practice is normally held for servers and bartenders, all service industry workers would greatly benefit from a tip during this time. Many servers have become delivery drivers or are working togo. Gratuities often make up a nice portion of service workers income and tipping could greatly help them out during this time. If you can afford it, consider tipping a little more than usual. Even 3-5% more could go a long way.
3. Gift Cards
Many businesses that cannot operate during this time are offering gift cards. These gift cards allow you to support the business and prepay for services once everything goes back to normal. Gift cards also make great gifts for people celebrating birthdays and other special events during this time. Small businesses like boutiques, restaurants, and more could really benefit from a few gift card sales while they prepare to reopen.
4. Shop Online
Many local businesses have taken their efforts online. Everything from clothing boutiques to furniture stores are now available as an online store. While big box retail stores may offer great deals, consider shopping local as a way to support your community. Consider a local shop, bookstore, or boutique. You may find a great sale or new favorite. If the business does not have a website, consider calling or emailing them to find out how you can support them.
Some small businesses don’t have the resources to open up for any kind of operations during this time. These businesses may be asking for or relying on donations. If you have money in your budget, consider donating to a local business as a way to show support. Fitness studios, tutoring services and others are offering services for free during this time and donations could help them stay afloat and reopen when things calm down.
There are also relief charities and organizations that have been setup to help local businesses. Do your research and think about donating directly to the organization or business of your choice. The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is helping provide financial assistance to independent restaurants.
As our communities come together, keep small business owners in your thoughts as they weather this storm.