6 Ways to Support Small Businesses During the Coronavirus

The spread of COVID-19 has more and more people hunkering down and staying inside. With over 400,000 cases in the U.S. alone, social distancing and self-quarantining have become the standard. And while social distancing is vital to containing the coronavirus, it is having a disastrous effect on small businesses.

Right now, many are concerned with meeting payroll, rent and other expenses due to a decrease in cash flow. As more and more people are required to stay inside, it’s more important than ever to support your local businesses as they have to close their doors temporarily or find other methods of selling and delivering their goods or services. In Seattle alone, 60% of these businesses are considering wage cuts and staffing cutbacks and over 80% expect things to get worse.

So, how can you help support small businesses during COVID-19? Here are six ways you can help your local businesses.

Ways to Support Small Businesses

1. Buy gift cards or certificates.

One way to put immediate cash into your local small business is by purchasing a gift card or gift certificate for future use. While the business may not be able to accept it right now, you can plan ahead for later, and it gives the businesses immediate cash to help tide them over during this crisis.

Kabbage created a simple way for small businesses to sell gift certificates through Kabbage Payments™. And anyone can search for businesses throughout the U.S. to purchase gift certificates to support their favorite local business or from others in different states and transfer them to friends or family as gifts who can redeem them locally.

2. Shop local.

When you need to stock up on necessities, shop from local businesses, both online and offline. Take the precautions when going out, but try to shop at local businesses — from hardware stores to pharmacies and small grocery stores — instead of larger chains. If your local stores have online shops, consider shopping from them while you hunker down at home.

3. Order delivery or pickup from nearby restaurants.

Some states have closed dine-in options for all restaurants and bars but have allowed these businesses to remain open for dine-out options. If you’re not up for cooking, order pickup or delivery from your nearby restaurants. That way, you can continue to support your local small businesses to help ensure you can dine-in at their location once the crisis has passed. Try calling the restaurant or ordering directly from their website rather than third-party apps so the business can avoid fees.

4. Tip a little extra.

Many forget that service workers are among the most impacted by quarantining. If you’re ordering in, make sure to tip extra, as many rely on this for their main source of income. Plus, they’re working hard to ensure you’re still getting what you need while trying to make sure it arrives safely and uncontaminated. A few extra bucks here and there will go a long way. If you go to pickup, make sure to leave a tip as well.

5. Share on social media.

If you can’t afford to go out or have sufficiently stocked up with what you need, encourage your friends and followers to support local businesses. Most small businesses have some form of social media. Share their posts so those in your circle can see it and support, too. This Doesn’t cost you anything more than a click and it may encourage support from others in the community. If there’s a local business you frequent that you love, leave them a good review, which can lead to more potential customers and more business.

6. Keep them in mind for the future.

If you don’t need anything but are looking toward the future, take a look at some of your local small businesses’ online stores and make a note of where to shop when things calm down. Leave a helpful note to remind you, so when you’re ready to shop, that business will be the first to come to mind.

If you’re a small business owner worried about the effects of coronavirus, here is a list of resources and support options that organizations like the Small Business Administration are offering. Kabbage is now accepting applications for small businesses to access relief funds through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. Small Businesses can also sign up to sell online gift certificates to collect revenue now to help mitigate potential negative effects for the coming weeks.

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