With a statewide stay-at-home order for Colorado, it’s difficult to support local business, but there are ways even without being able to leave our homes. Here are a few ways to show Colorado Springs restaurants, shops and small businesses support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buy Gift Cards (But Don’t Use Them Yet)
A great way to infuse a little cash flow at your favorite restaurant or shop is to buy a gift card. The purchase puts money directly into the business and is a great return on your investment when business is back to normal. Stock up for gifts next Christmas. Give your neighbor a pick-me-up surprise. Or keep them for yourself. Just wait to avoid using the gift card until the pandemic has passed.
And on that note, it’s best to leave coupons at home for the next few weeks too. Sure we all love a deal, but investing the few extra dollars now can make a big difference in ensuring that local restaurant or boutique is around when the pandemic is over.
Leave a Virtual Tip
Have a favorite bartender or server? Is there a restaurant that knows your order by heart? Maybe your family orders pizza from the same spot every Friday night. If you want to support that business or person, leave a big tip when you order takeout, or check their social media for ways to tip virtually. Many restaurants and bars have virtual tipping options via Venmo or a funding website that allows you to donate money to help support the hospitality industry during this difficult time.
Share Your Favorite Business on Social Media
One of the easiest — and free — ways to support a local business you love is by sharing them on Facebook or Instagram. Post a photo of your takeout meal or a picture of something you recently purchased. Make sure you tag the business to let everyone know where they can go to also support that business.
Write a (Nice) Review on Yelp or Google
As the community is ordering takeout, many people are trying new places and using review systems like Yelp or Google to decide where to eat. Your positive review can lead other people to a business you love. Not only will it boost business owners’ and employees’ spirits, but hopefully it will boost their sales.
While storefronts are closed for business, there are still many options to shop local online. Many gyms and fitness studios are offering discounted classes for the future with access to online classes now. Clothing and retail shops have websites to make a purchase with a delivery. Even if a storefront doesn’t have a virtual way to shop, most places have a way to purchase a gift card for future use. If you’re keeping yourself busy with some retail therapy, consider buying from a local shop rather than a national chain.
Send a Gift
A little cheer goes a long way. If you want to give a little bit of love or just put a smile on someone’s face, a great way is to send a gift. Shop local and have the gift delivered directly to your friend or family member. Send a virtual gift card. If you know money is tight — true for many people right now — and want to treat someone, you could order a meal and have it delivered to their home. Show you care, and help keep small shops open in the future.
Say Thank You
It’s a stressful time. While we all are hopefully doing our best to be kind to one another, that’s not always the case. With our health and the health of loved ones at risk, it can be hard to stay positive or patient. Saying thank you to those who are still working can encourage local businesses and help spread gratitude through the entire community. It’s a simple gesture, but one that we all need right now.