How To Help Small Businesses While Social Distancing

As coronavirus continues to take over our lives, tank the stock market, and cause general panic across the globe, many of us are looking for ways to help. For those of us who aren’t literal doctors and nurses, finding a way to be useful can be difficult. One way normies like us can help people stay afloat during this crisis is by supporting small businesses.

With bars restaurants, and all non-essential businesses, some of our favorite mom and pops facing very serious financial implications of months without customers and inadequate federal support. With that in mind, here are some ways you can help support your favorite local and small businesses, all while staying the f*ck indoors for the greater good. New Yorkers specifically — if you’re looking for more information provided by The Partnership for NYC and Gov Andrew Cuomo, click here.

Tip Your Ass Off

We should all be tipping all the time, but in this time of crisis why not go ahead and add another 10% to your usual tip amount? Many major cities have moved to make all restaurants delivery or takeout only (NYC is letting restos sell you fancy cocktails to-go, too). If you take advantage of this option, adding a little bit more to your tip could help that delivery driver stay afloat until normal business resumes. Plus what good is stopping the pandemic if we don’t have any bars to go to at the end of all this? 

Buy Some Gift Cards 

This one is huge! By buying a pre-paid gift card or other merch from your favorite bars, restaurants, or stores, you’re giving those businesses money right now for services once they get back on track. It’s basically a mini loan you can give to your favorite brunch spot letting them know you’ll def be back for mimosas once all this sh*t is over. Which you will. Here’s a list of establishments  that sell merch and gift cards in New York City. Try shooting your local haunt a DM to see if they can sell you a good meal a few months in advance. 

Check Out Patreon 

Have a favorite artist, writer, podcaster, or musician whose business might be affected by COVID-19? See if they have a Patreon page and sign up for a monthly contribution to help keep them afloat as their live shows, touring gigs, and freelance jobs are disrupted by the virus. As an added bonus, most Patreons have payment tiers that grant you exclusive access to content from the artist you support to help get you through the long days in self-isolation. It’s a win-win. 

Don’t Cancel Your Membership 

If you’re a member at a fitness studio that you absolutely love and you can afford it, consider not canceling your membership even while they are closed for coronavirus. While some of the big fitness studios might be able to weather the storm, smaller studios are going to be majorly affected if all their members cancel at once, and that goes double for your favorite instructors. If your studio is offering virtual classes, show your support by signing up so you can help keep instructors employed (and ward off the COVID 15 once you cave and eat all your quarantine supplies in one sitting).

Leave A Glowing Yelp Review (Or A Hundred)

In these days of Yelp, one shitty review from an irrationally enraged Karen who wanted a fork for her tuna handroll can drag down a small business’s overall rating and deter customers. Spend your quarantine leaving 5-star reviews for all your favorite local establishments so when people can visit your area again, they’ll spend their money there without hesitation.

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Image courtesy of Warner Bros.