Support your favorite businesses during the pandemic

May 07, 2020

The financial effects of coronavirus are hitting many businesses hard. Business owners are adapting to current economic challenges while trying to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Spending extra money right now isn't possible for people who have lost their jobs or are struggling to pay bills. But if you're able to support your favorite businesses during the pandemic, here are some ways to help:

• Shop/order online. Many retailers, who specialize in everything from furniture and appliances to clothing and books, have closed their doors. However, they likely have websites you can order products from. If you can't find a website, contact the business by phone or email.

• Get takeout, or have food delivered. Need a break from home cooking? Many restaurants, bars and cafes are serving food through takeout and delivery only. Buying some of your meals this way is safe and could help local restaurants keep more staff employed. Plus, some restaurants are offering discounts and free delivery. If your income hasn't been affected, you could even order meals for at-risk family members, friends or neighbors.

• Leave tips. If you can afford it, consider tipping 5-10% more than you usually do. Tips often make up a significant part of the income of those working in the service industry.

• Buy gift cards. These could be for anything from salons to restaurants and movie theaters. You can give your favorite businesses money now and collect on your goods or services when things are back to normal. Some businesses are even offering deals on gift cards.

• Make donations. If you have been wanting to donate to organizations you like, now is a good time. If you have already donated, consider adding to your contribution. Have tickets to canceled events? Opt not to ask for a refund.

Many people are facing financial hardship right now and don't have extra money. If your income hasn't been hit hard by the pandemic, think about helping businesses. It could keep your favorite establishments running and more people employed.

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