How to support small businesses in the time of “stay at home” orders

Sara Weinreb
Mar 30, 2020 · 5 min read

We’re in the depths of uncertainty. It feels scary and surreal for many, especially feeling out of control from what is to come. To counter that, I have been trying to focus my efforts on the things I can control — my actions, who I chat with, what content I consume and how I spend my time and money.

You likely already know that small businesses are taking a huge hit during this global COVID-19 pandemic. As a freelancer and previous small business owner, many of my friends and those I surround myself with are small business owners. From my experiences and theirs, I wanted to share some thoughts on how to best support local businesses in the challenging times we are in — with insight from small business owners themselves.

Shop small and local for as many things as possible

“If you have been waiting to try a product from a small company, now is the time to do it! Shopping small is more essential than ever during these uncertain times. We encourage everyone to go to their local coffee shop for their morning coffee, stop by their mom and pop grocers to grab your produce, and just support your local small businesses. They are the ones who will feel that support the most right now.” — Roxanne Golkar and Bradley Reitler, co-owners of Meet The Source

Spread the word

“We have found that word of mouth makes a huge difference. Supporting a small business can look like attending and spreading the word of virtual offerings — for example, with Roots Healing, we have shifted to live virtual yoga classes, so joining a class or spreading the word of the class would be a huge support.” — Minerva Arias, founder of Roots Healing.

This can mean emailing family members or friends about interesting workshops or sharing products that you love, or reposting a brand’s social media posts and sharing why you love and support them. “Support small businesses by amplifying their messages. Share! Share! Share! Every post could help introduce the company to new people,” emphasized Amy Zitelman, co-founder and CEO of Soom Foods.

Collaborate with small brands

Share a gift with a friend from a distance

“Bird + Stone is raising money for three COVID-19 community relief funds that rapidly deploy funds to those on the front lines to those who need it most (the homeless, low-income students, gig workers, etc). Each Choose Kindness cuffs gives an additional 10% to communities at the center of the crisis — NY, Seattle, and LA. Gift a cuff to a friend and spread kindness to them while supporting our business and our give-back model.” — Elana Reinholtz, founder and CEO of Bird + Stone.

You can also gift your loved one a gift card to your favorite place to grab lunch or coffee together to enjoy once the “stay at home” orders have been lifted, or a gift card to an online small business so they can shop for something that resonates.

Order takeout from local restaurants

Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

If it’s accessible to you, ordering takeout from your favorite local restaurants can help them stay in business and keep their staff employed. And let’s face it, cooking every meal at home gets exhausting! Ordering in allows you to support local restaurants and take the load off at home. Win-win.

Show some love to your favorite local businesses

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toasting good

toasting good is a social impact shopping guide and conscious lifestyle publication inspiring a movement of people to create change with their daily actions. Powered by Social Enterprise Alliance.

Sara Weinreb

Written by

Plant lady. Writer, sustainability strategist, design thinking facilitator. Host of Medium Well Podcast. Denver, CO.

toasting good

toasting good is a social impact shopping guide and conscious lifestyle publication inspiring a movement of people to create change with their daily actions. Powered by Social Enterprise Alliance.

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