As social distancing becomes more intense, our communities are suffering financially. Individuals are losing their jobs on a short-term basis and small businesses are working harder than ever to keep their operations going. While we all face our own struggles, it is important to remember the people and businesses in our community and do what we can to support them.
Small businesses that rely on in-person transactions
Local restaurants, bakeries, and boutique shops are among the small businesses in your community that rely on sales from customers inside their establishments to keep their doors open. When cash flow decreases significantly, these companies are in jeopardy of not being able to meet financial commitments, including paying their employees. One way to support these entrepreneurs is to buy gift cards now that you will use when social distancing is not necessary. Many of these places will even sell you a gift card over the phone if you do not want to leave your house. Another way to support your favorite local restaurant is to place a take-out order. You can order and pay over the phone and ask if a server will bring the food right to your car so you limit your time in public places.
Supporting local college students
Many colleges have either closed or switched to distance learning, perhaps for the rest of the spring semester. The college students in your community may have lost on-campus or local jobs while these establishments are closed. You can support them by hiring them to run errands for yourself or older neighbors that really need to limit their time in public. Dropping groceries off on someone’s doorstep limits the risk of transmission. Other services that limit the risk of transmission are tasks that can be done outside. Taking advantage of good weather is healthy during this time, so as you are stuck at home, you might want to get a head start on spring projects. If you need help, hire a college student or two to assist you.
Social distancing may prevent you from frequenting your favorite local establishments or sending your children to school but there are things you can do to keep your community running. Think about your neighbors and your town and how you can support them during this crisis. If you are not sure what to do, call the local business owners or unemployed college students and ask them if there is anything you can do for them. If we all do a small part, it will keep the local economy stable.
Supporting your local church or synagogue
Most religious services in your community are being cancelled to avoid gatherings of too many people. These organizations rely on your tithes and offerings to run their day to day operations and ministries. When people do not attend services, they often do not give on those weeks. It is important that even when services are not held that you find a way to give to your home church or synagogue. Some organizations offer online giving or you can reach out to their leadership to find options to drop off your contributions.
Have you found other ways to support your community? Post your comments to share ideas!