During the course of this pandemic, several corporate businesses have switched to virtual interactions, client meetings, and conferences. However, this luxury has not been extended to all. People employed in the physical labor workforce have lost their jobs and small businesses struggle to stay open with the large decrease in client flow. Those on an independent contract (who work for themselves) are struggling even more. So, what can we do?
While franchises have a large customer base they can rely on and room to cut costs, small businesses do not. They are independently owned, meaning their income relies solely on their customers’ businesses. One of the easiest ways to support them from home is through a food delivery service like DoorDash or Postmates. This limits the unsanitary exchange of physical money, provides business for the restaurant, supports delivery drivers, and allows you to enjoy delicious food. You can even purchase vouchers, gift cards, or join their loyalty program and cash them in after the pandemic. This assures customer loyalty and still provides them with cash flow without you having to buy their product immediately. If you do decide to take-out or get delivery directly from the restaurant, be sure to tip well!
One of the biggest ways to contribute is raising awareness and donating. There are a few government relief measures like CARES Act aiming to provide a financial cushion for those forced into unemployment due to the coronavirus. Be sure to see if you or someone you independently hired is eligible to receive a payment. Additionally, freelancers can apply for aid through unions and organizations like the Freelancers Union, or you yourself can donate or help gather funds for these causes.
Being quarantined is not optimal for anyone, but rather than dwelling on the absence of your past “normal,” embrace this time as a unique opportunity for learning and helping others as we overcome the pandemic together. Share some small businesses you like to support and how you support them down below!