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    Apr 4, 2020

    Here Are 15 Ways You Can Support Small And Local Businesses Right Now

    Small things you can do from home that can help make a difference.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to share with us how they're supporting small and local businesses right now while practicing social distancing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Here are their tips:

    1. Start small by treating yourself to a drive-through, pick-up, or delivery coffee and/or donuts once a week because even a little gesture like this can mean a whole lot.

    buzzfeed.com

    "My favorite coffee shop does donuts on Fridays, and my dad and I picked some up curbside with their great coffee!" —cassidyb4aeb3ce61

    2. No matter if you're working from home or are in an office, find out what restaurants are open in your area and order lunch or dinner from them whenever you can.

    NBC Studios

    "I'm an insurance agent, so our business is deemed essential. Since we are staying open my office has decided to order from a local restaurant every day for the next few weeks since they can only do carry-out in NC. It helps local businesses and keeps our spirits up." —mollystroup

    3. Or if you can't leave the house at all, call restaurants directly and see if they're doing delivery. If not, check out delivery apps, some of which are waiving their delivery fees right now, so that the money you spend goes directly to the business.

    Columbia Pictures

    If you order over the phone, you can give your card information to pay and tip in order to minimize interaction. Plus, many delivery services have options for contact-less delivery where they leave the food outside your door. Uber Eats, Postmates, and Delivery.com (by using the code LOCALFIRST at checkout) are all offering free delivery right now. And remember to tip extra, if you can!

    "My husband and I have been ordering using Postmates/Grubhub at least once a week from small local restaurants so the restaurant gets some income, as well as the delivery person. It’s not much, but we’re trying to do what we can as little as it may be." —laceyg413aac175

    4. Use a community group or just your social meida to showcase the restaurants and food that are open and serving delicious food, and you might inspire others to do the same.

    Mark Kass

    "A lot of the local resturaunts (most) are doing delivery and takeout. There is a Facebook group for our town that shares information on these restaurants and we all post pictures of the amazing food and service we keep getting! I've also bought gift cards to our local retailers and supporting some of my favorite small businesses through online shopping." —hikingismylife

    5. You can also order from Asian restaurants during this time that are getting hit harder because of the racist stigma attached to the virus.

    Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions

    "I'm ordering takeout and from Asian restaurants especially. Since a lot of people have associated the disease with the Asian community, many don’t want to order from these restaurants because they think they’ll get infected (even though they obviously won't), so ordering from Asian restaurants is super important."—meganc4b62b3da3

    6. If you live in an area that has bodegas, delis, or even family-run grocery stores, buy any food you need from them instead of visiting the big-box stores.

    3 Arts Entertainment

    "Bodegas/delis have a lot of the things you'd be buying at super markets and big box stores with less of a crowd. Been trying to buy basics and snacks there." —John Mihaly

    "We're planning that our next grocery shop will be at a local independent grocer as opposed to the big box stores, which are getting enough business right now, let's be honest."—bran_d

    7. See if you can get any dairy or produce from local farmers who might have products that aren't going to restaurants or elsewhere right now.

    Walt Disney

    "We are getting eggs, cheese and butter delivered from local farms. A lot of farms are going to struggle since they can’t supply restaurants and cafes for the time being. You can even look to see if you can get fresh produce delivered!" —maryelizzy

    8. When it comes to buying gifts for anyone you know with a birthday coming up, try to get them from a local store or even a small business online.

    9 Story Media Group

    "Our kid's birthday is next week, so rather than ordering off Amazon we sourced her gift from a local shop and arranged for a safe pickup." —bran_d

    9. Since concerts and shows have been canceled, you can still show support by tuning in to any live-at-home concerts or events local musicians/artists/performers are having, and then sending any money you can to them afterward.

    10. Also, if you can, try and pay any small businesses you might not be using regularly anymore, such as your hairdresser or cleaning service.

    TriStar Pictures

    "You hairdresser, barber, or house cleaner might not come to your mind when you think of small businesses, but these people have been greatly affected right now. If you have the means, you can pay these people whatever you would have paid them during the shutdown to cut your hair/clean your house etc." —Maitland Quitmeyer

    11. And if you need to shop for anything online, consider a small business or even one that is trying to do good and help during the pandemic.

    Allbirds, Abby Kass / BuzzFeed

    I'm social distancing with my parents, and when I packed a month ago, I thought I was only going to be here for a couple of weeks. Now that it's looking like I'll be here for a month or more, I'm realizing that I didn't pack as well as I could have. I decided that if I really needed to buy anything, I would try and support small businesses as much as I could. So, when I saw that Allbirds was doing a "We're better together" promotion where you can buy a bundle of shoes, one for you and one for a healthcare worker. I thought it would be a great way to support a small company trying to do good for the people that are on the frontline of this. It's a small thing that helps me feel like I'm doing something during this time.

    12. Another way to support is to buy gift cards. You can either keep them and use them later, or you could even donate them to the staff that's been affected by shorter shifts or no hours at all.

    Abby Kass / BuzzFeed

    "I bought a gift card to my favorite local restaurant (Sobaya) in NYC because I’m really looking forward to when this is all over, and I’m sitting in that corner booth eating warm soba and everything is OK again. ❤️" —Jennifer Tonti

    "I’ve been buying gift cards to restaurants and then telling them to keep them for their staff to use for those laid off and those who are there to help keep business running for takeout. I think during this time it’s important to remember their wages have been cut drastically, even with unemployment being made available to them." —missyc40e533486

    13. Be on the lookout on social media for creative things companies are doing at this time. For example, Front Porch Sundays in Charlotte, North Carolina pivoted its business to put together boxes filled with goods from small businesses delivered right to people's doors.

    14. Many small businesses are taking their services online, making it not only super easy to support them but to also find new, fun things for you to do in your home.

    Abby Kass / BuzzFeed

    My mom and I saw that a local business had turned their painting night digital, so we thought it would be a fun way to spend a Saturday night. We ordered the supplies, which included a canvas, small containers of primary color paint, brushes, and accessories. We drove to their store and did a drive-through pick up where we just opened our trunk, and they put the supplies in. Then we tuned into the Facebook live for the painting we wanted to do. The instructor walked us through it step-by-step and even had us text him if we had questions and progress shots so we could see how others were doing. We had a lot of fun, and it felt like we were actually at a paint and sip place. It was a great way to support a local business and do something different at night while social distancing. Visit the websites of local businesses or Facebook to see if they're offering online services.

    15. And if you don't have disposable income to spend right now, you can still like and share products from your favorite small businesses to increase their visibility and reach. Sometimes the smallest actions can make the biggest difference.

    And remember:

    Salty Pictures

    Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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