How to Support Small Businesses During Shelter in Place

Unless you’re hiding under a rock – you’re up to your eyeballs in Covid-19 content. I’m not a medical professional or healthcare worker, so going to steer VERY clear of any health related tips and tricks.

But I am a small business owner/content creator and so are a lot of my friends. And wow are small, local businesses struggling right now.

San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to adopt a “shelter in place” and mandate all “non-essential businesses” close down. This means all the small, local shops are either closed entirely or potentially allowing take out (restaurants) only. Online small businesses and content creators are struggling right now as well.

I wanted to dedicate an entire post on how you can support your favorite local and/or small business from afar during these, let’s say WEIRD times.

How to support small businesses & content creators during a pandemic.

The obvious answer: shop small, shop local.

I know it’s tempting right now to rush to the big chain stores and websites to panic buy, well, everything. I’ve been there. But pause for a moment and ask yourself – can I get this same item from a small or local business instead?

It’s the small, locally run businesses that really need our purchases now more than ever.

KB and I typically use Instacart to order all our groceries for delivery from major grocery chains, but have been buying our groceries exclusively from our local market since going on lockdown. Not only are we shopping small – but we often find our local market has way more in stock than the bigger chains.

Buy gift cards for later.

With San Francisco firmly on “shelter in place,” restaurants are restrict-red to offering pick up or delivery only – no dine in. There have been plenty of reports out there ensuring the safety of ordering food for delivery (the virus is unlikely to be passed via food), but if you’re still uncomfortable having someone else prep your food you can support by purchasing gift cards from your favorite restaurants for later use!

My favorite home town restaurant just started offering gift certificates. They’re a brand new business so I purchased one for my family to enjoy! Shrimp burritos for dayssss.

Your favorite local flavors are likely offering gift cards and certificates right now as well – hit them up and ask. Even if you don’t feel comfortable ordering out now, you’ll be able to nom nom later on.

Purchase delivery for healthcare workers.

A lot of local San Francisco based businesses are struggling big time with the shut down, especially in the food industry. I saw that Andytown came up with a clever way for people to donate to healthcare workers remotely while also supporting their business…

Send a healthcare worker a coffee.

Essentially you can buy a healthcare worker a coffee or pastry and Andytown will deliver it to local healthcare facilities! I totally bought both a coffee and a pastry – and I feel super good knowing I did a nice deed for someone working in healthcare while also supporting Andytown SF.

You can still support without spending any money.

Don’t have extra cash to spare? You can still support your fave local businesses and content creators without spending a dime!

Share posts, like posts, comment on posts, and read blog posts.

I want to get really raw and real with ya’ll – my traffic today is 1/3 of what it was two weeks ago. Covid-19 has destroyed my blog traffic and I’m even further away from hitting big goals I had set for myself this year than I was back in January. It’s depressing.

I wrote an entire blog post here about how I make money blogging – but ad revenue is one of those ways and with traffic down so dramatically I’m losing out on a ton of cash. Truly – this isn’t my full time job and I have stable income. I’ll be okay. But wow does this suck.

BUT there are loads of content creators out there that do this full time and will start to struggle. Regardless of whether or not we think “influencing” is a “real job” (this topic has too many layers to even begin to peel that onion) the fact is anything that pays a full time income is a “real job.And people are hurting, man.

Point being – you truly can continue to support your favorite small businesses and content creators without spending a dime just by engaging with them online. Whether it’s ad revenue, keeping engagement rate on posts up, or sharing their posts so that someone else may make a purchase – all these actions add up and help a ton!

Got tips and tricks for how to support small businesses during this pandemic? Drop ’em in the comments below!

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