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How New York City families can support local businesses during COVID-19

According to a report released by the NFIB Research Center, 76% of small businesses say they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses are a touchstone of any city — they’re owned and operated by the people you interact with everyday, like your neighbors, friends and parents at your kids schools, and rely on the wider community for social, financial and sometimes even operational support.

These people not only contribute to the community, but are invested in the wellbeing and future of it. As they struggle from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to support them in whatever way we can. Read on for some of our suggestions on how to do so.

Buy local wherever possible

Have you ever heard of the saying “When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance”? There are many benefits to shopping locally at your neighborhood stores such as tailored customer service (they probably even know your name!) and unique product offerings. Wherever possible, opt for the local option. For example, try shopping for your produce at a local farmers market instead of a large national supermarket. Taking your kids to the local farmers market can be a fun weekend outing and an educational opportunity to learn about where their food comes from. Plus, buying local foods has numerous health benefits to your family especially when you know that the produce you are purchasing is fresh and often organic and chemical free.

Start small

It’s important to note that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or make any significant lifestyle changes in order to support local businesses. Start with one thing that seems manageable to change and go from there. Even the smallest change such as shifting from a national coffee chain to a local cafe for your morning coffee is a step in the right direction.

Support even without spending money

If you want to support more local businesses then you’re financially able to, showing your support on social media platforms, like parenting groups on Facebook or your Instagram feed is a great way to support local businesses.

If you’re not big on social media, you can also take a few minutes to give your favorite local business a positive review on Yelp or Google. This will be hugely valuable when the business resumes its normal operations.

Check in with businesses you frequently visit

Just because a local store might not be open right now doesn’t mean they are not operating! Keep up to date with how local businesses in your area are adapting to the changing times. Many businesses have had to change how they operate and what they sell. For example local Brooklyn toy store Two Kids and a Dog responded to the mandatory closure by taking FaceTime calls with toy recommendations and home delivery options.


While this may not feel like an obvious or direct connection to supporting local businesses, volunteering is a great way to teach your children the important value of giving back and supporting others while also staying connected to your larger community. For New Yorkers, and only when you feel comfortable to do so, New York Cares is an excellent option and their search function allows you to filter volunteer opportunities that are “family-friendly”. Other family-friendly volunteer options include helping out at a local garden, sorting donations at food banks, or participating in a community clean-up day. If you feel more comfortable playing it safe, embrace virtual volunteering and support COVID-19 and other efforts alike.

Kin’s Favorite Local Business Guides

Depending on where you live you can find local guides for just about anything your family might need! In New York one of our favorite blogs Mommy Poppins has a great resource on Toy and Book Stores Offering Curbside Pickup and Delivery for NYC Kids so you can stay safe, shop local and support independent children toy, clothing and book stores.

If you are looking to make a meaningful impact, there has been a multitude of guides and content that has come out of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is of particular importance right now to continue to circulate these guides of local owned Black businesses who have been hit with increased hardship. Some of our favorite resources are the list of local Black Owned Restaurants in New York City and Black-owned businesses for families.



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