It’s no secret that the Coronavirus Pandemic is taking a toll on the economy. Small businesses are among the hardest hit, because they don’t have the reserves to outlast this unexpected lull in operations. Whether it’s your favorite local coffee shop, that boutique you love, or your local salon, small businesses are hurting. 

The good news is that there are ways you can still support them! In fact, your influence and contributions are more significant than ever. Be proactive about showing love to small businesses. After all, we’re all in this together. We’ve put together a list of ideas to get you started. 

1. Order From Your Favorite Local Restaurants 

Unless your cooking skills have magically improved, you’re probably missing favorite dishes from your favorite restaurants. While public eating areas are closed, you can still order up delicious meals for takeout or delivery. By grabbing dinner from your favorite restaurant, you’re not only helping them make it through the pandemic, but you’re also helping to ensure that their doors will still be open once it’s over.  

2. Shop Online From Local Businesses

Thanks to the stay-at-home orders most states are under, online-only stores such as Amazon and eBay are doing quite well. You probably already order a few things from Amazon regularly, and maybe you’ve started expanding the number of things you buy online. In order to help out some local businesses, consider shifting some of your online shopping to them. For example, is there a local bookstore you can support? Rather than buying your next read from Amazon, consider ordering locally. Hair salons are closed but many are offering products online—another great way to keep your stylist in business and still get the things that you need. Basically, anytime you need to order something, ask yourself if you can find it through a local business first. 

3. Gift Shop Now For Upcoming Events 

Having some extra time at home isn’t all bad. You can use the time to plan ahead for special occasions, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or an upcoming holiday (Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc.). Instead of waiting to buy gifts, order them now — through your favorite small businesses. Don’t forget experience gifts from Cloud 9 Living! Even better than hassling with a package is giving someone a memorable and unique experience. Especially during this season of quarantine, the anticipation will be epic. 

4. Share on Social Media

Let your friends know what you’re doing to support small businesses. When you receive a package or a meal, take a picture and spread the good word online. People are using social media these days more than ever, so you’ve got an audience! 

5. Buy Gift Cards From Small Businesses 

Small businesses will appreciate the cash from transactions that happen now, and help them pay the bills to keep their doors open. They’ll also appreciate the encouragement from loyal customers like yourself, knowing that you’ll be using those gift cards as soon as possible. Now is a great time to take advantage of discounts and incentives. Cloud 9 Living is offering eGift cards at 25% off! What better way to celebrate the end of social distancing than to gather with friends and go on an adventure together? 

6. Review Purchases Online

Positive online reviews make a big impact on small businesses. Whether it’s Facebook, Google, Yelp, or something else, your glowing reviews will help others learn more about the products or services they provide, draw attention to their strengths, and help encourage new customers both now and in the future. 

7. Stay Home and Practice Social Distancing 

While perhaps the least “fun” of your options, this is still the single most important thing you can do to support your community. The sooner the virus stops spreading, the better for all of us — including our local businesses. Stay home, stay healthy, and stay safe! And when you need to go out for necessities, keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other people.