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Expert Advice

How to support small businesses during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in profound and unprecedented ways. Most if not all of us are worried about someone we love—whether it’s a relative, a friend, or our community as a whole.

In the face of this crisis, it’s important to remember that even the smallest acts of care can make a difference. We’ve compiled the tips and resources below to help you find simple, concrete ways to take action.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt an enormous blow to small brick-and-mortar and service businesses. Many have been unable to operate at all under state and local shelter-in-place orders. Even as they slowly reopen, they’re facing decreased demand—many people don’t yet feel safe going out to a restaurant, movie theater, or shopping mall, and that may be the case for a while.

You can make a big difference just by purchasing from local small businesses whenever possible. That might mean shopping in person, if that’s allowed in your area and you’re comfortable doing so, but it could also mean ordering takeout or curbside delivery, or buying online gift cards to use later. You can also continue to pay in-person service providers, such as hairdressers and house cleaners, as though you were keeping your regular appointments. Just call and ask that they charge your credit card as usual, or mail a check and a note to their business address.

Even if you aren’t able to contribute financially, you can let your local businesses know that you care about them and that you’ll be there as soon as they reopen. Comment on their social media accounts, leave them a glowing online review, or send an email to say that you value their presence in your community and appreciate everything they’re doing to keep their staff and customers safe.

Here are some additional resources to help you support small businesses: