You can find information and current recommendations from the CDC on COVID 19 (coronavirus) here.
Wow. Guys. This coronavirus (COVID 19) thing has been a bit unnerving. Yeah? When this thing first hit the U.S. husband and I had to have a serious moment as we faced the reality that his and my jobs were going to suffer. A lot. And they have, but we’re starting to bounce back.
The economy is still struggling. Although most “shut downs” have ceased, we’re now facing a weird trend in employment and some serious inflation that is threatening to cripple many businesses just as they’ve begun to rebound. Here are some ideas that will help stimulate local economy and hopefully make life a little less stressful for business owners.
Here are a few ideas on how you can keep small business alive while we all live with the coronavirus pandemic.
Buy gift cards
This is pretty simple and you can buy gift cards online many times. This allows you to still support your local salon or other service based business and be able to show up once we’re all feeling a little safer.
Order dinner to go
Still avoiding eating in dining rooms? Me too. Lots of restaurants offer take-out. Call ahead to your favorite place and see if they offer it. They might even deliver.
Shop local produce
Small produce stands are way less crowded and most are open air markets. Both of these make it a great alternative for fresh fruits and veggies without going into grocery spaces for that tomato you need for BLTs tonight.
Get it delivered
What ever it is, ask if you can have it delivered. I personally know several people who work with Shipt and Lyft. Call your favorite small business and see if they partner with any delivery services. If not, maybe see if you can make a few bucks delivering for them. Win-win!
What can small businesses do to help people buy with them during COVID 19 and social distancing?
Consumers aren’t the only ones with control over who makes it through this. It’s not too late to take some initiative and think outside the box. After all, it’s your business, not theirs. At the end of the day, it’ll be how we react to this that determines who’s still working when this things finally passes.
Offer gift cards for deferred services
If you don’t already, make that available. I’ve already reached out to clients to offer pay-now, use later options and reduced rates. This allows me to keep some revenue trickling in while we’re all wondering how this coronavirus will play out. It gives the client the option to schedule a few months out if necessary.
Sell retail items on your social media pages and offer curbside pickup
A little coronavirus doesn’t have to mean you lose all of your sales. I’ve seen lots of people do this over the last few years. Post pretty images. Promote it. Make it a thing.
Team up with a delivery service or set up temporary service yourself
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small grocery, produce market, retail store or something else. This is going to be crucial. People (well or sick) are going to need things. If you’re there to help them they’ll see that. Delivery reduces exposure and contact. Just make sure your employees / yourself are using precautions to keep yourselves and others healthy.
Offer online payments for commonly purchased items
Set up a Venmo, Square or PayPal account. Create items that can be linked to from your website, email and social profiles.
Most importantly, though … don’t freak out. We aren’t prepping for the apocalypse, but we are going to have a rough time of it. Schools are already closed here and gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited to reduce the spread of COVID 19. Buying all of the toilet paper and hand sanitizer isn’t what’s going to save us. What’s going to save us is being considerate of others, reducing exposure and spread and helping where we can. We are going to come out the other side of this and if we do it right, we’ll be stronger for it.
Do you have other ways we can support one another? Share them in the comments.