As the spread of COVID-19 continues, it is becoming increasingly clear that small businesses will suffer the brunt of the government led recommendations for social isolation. It is unclear at this stage how much longer this will go on and it is expected that Australia is looking at months of cancelled events, schools being shut down and a lot fewer people in the shops.
However, there are still ways you can help support local businesses in your area, and ensure that they will be there when everything resumes to normal. Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities and supporting them where you can is essential to building community rapport and showing people that in times of crisis, we can come together to thrive.
Think about businesses in your area. How can you help?
Focus on small business
Large supermarket chains are well equipped to pay their workers and make a profit during times of crisis, but smaller businesses are not always so well prepared. When you can, choose a small business for products rather than a large chain. Cafes who have had to close have things like eggs, milk and bread for sale. By buying these, you are reducing food waste and supporting local industry. You will want your morning coffee once this is all over!
If you are not at risk, have no symptoms, order ahead to avoid lines and quickly pick up your order with highly limited contact.
Order products via delivery
Larger companies will already have this service in place, but for smaller companies, the demand may not be big enough. Call and talk to the shop owner to see whether delivery is feasible, or whether you can organise a group drop project.
Buy vouchers and gift cards
Buying vouchers and gift cards mean a business is able to access the money immediately and you have reserved a night out for later on. Everyone wins!
If you have signed up for exercise classes but are unable to attend, your fitness organisation may offer online classes for a fee of the class. This works especially well for yoga, pilates, stretch, meditation and workouts.
Invest in merchandise
With the ban on large gatherings, the arts industry has taken a particularly large hit. Being unable to go out and perform to people will mean many won’t be able to earn their weekly wage. If your favourite artist has merchandise, give them a hand buy buying or even donating a small amount.