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Perhaps no entity is facing more economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 than small businesses. Many have been forced by stay-at-home orders to close their doors, with only limited relief being offered. So what can you do to help our friends and neighbors who own small businesses stay afloat? Here are a few ideas:

1.) Purchasing Gift Cards. Perhaps the most obvious and turnkey solution. Buying a gift card allows the small business to put some revenue on the books in the here and now. Plus you have something to look forward to when the quarantine ends. Another idea: Celebrate your purchase on social media by highlighting the business and encourage others to do the same.

2.) Don’t Cancel Events. Reschedule Them. Many businesses rely on events like graduations and birthday parties to help their bottom lines. While the specific occasion may have passed, you can still reschedule and hold another celebration at the same venue in the future.

3.) Order Takeout. One of the best ways to support local restaurants right now. Experts say that as long as you wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating, there is no added cause for concern over COVID-19 contamination. In some cases, bars and restaurants are selling full bottles of wine or cocktail kits as well.

4.) Before You Click ‘Buy’ On Amazon, Consider A Small Business. It can be tempting to quickly purchase whatever you need from a massive retailer. But those companies (Amazon, Home Depot, etc.) haven’t been affected nearly as much as small businesses. Consider investing those dollars in your local community, which provides much-needed economic relief.

5.) Take A Virtual Consultation Or Lesson: While salons, gyms and music lessons aren’t able to be held in person, many places are offering take-home kits or virtual consultations. Your salon could create a custom coloring kit for you, your trainer may offer a session via FaceTime, or your piano teacher could conduct a lesson over Zoom.

6.) Volunteer Your Services. Places like your local food pantry or soup kitchen are likely overwhelmed with a need for volunteers right now. Place a call to see when you could help pack food or serve meals. It will go a long way in keeping your community on its feet during this difficult time.

For the latest on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting businesses, stay tuned to

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