As news of coronavirus spreads through our community, small businesses and services will undoubtedly feel the economic effect of social distancing. Many of our community members will continue to need support in the weeks and months to come, beyond hand-washing. We are building a list of suggestions on how to support your community while reducing your exposure risk, including:
Purchase gift cards to your favorite local businesses. Many offer online ordering, but if not, inquire about ordering over the phone if you aren’t comfortable visiting. While there is always the risk of small businesses not surviving a quarantine or economic recession, their chances are much better with community support. At SHCC, we offer digital and paper gift cards and often run specials.
Keep your appointments whenever possible. Small businesses and services, such as your hairdresser or esthetician, rely on scheduled appointments, and many are taking additional precautions to keep you safe. If concerned, ask questions about their procedures or if anyone has been sick recently. Your health and safety are paramount, and we are proud to care for your homes as we would our own.
Use the additional time you may have at home to tackle any needed home improvement or organization projects. Enlist the help of local contractors, painters, organizers, cleaners, lawn services, and more. Have your carpets cleaned, your pantry organized, and your garage cleared out. Tip: we can tackle many of your household projects, but if we can’t, we have a network of amazing referral partners to whom we would love to introduce you!
Find a mother’s helper or sitter via Care.com, Nextdoor, a local sitting service such as Select Sitters, or a Facebook group connecting caretakers and families. If your school has already temporarily closed or if schools close in the future, having this assistance may make your work load more manageable, as well as support a member of our community.
Hire a dog walker or pet sitter via a local service such as Peak City Puppy, platform such as Rover, or other community groups. Many individuals work through these services for flexible earnings, and may rely on them during an economic crisis.
Take advantage of local grocery delivery services such as Shipt or Instacart, which offer flexible earning opportunities and reduce your own exposure risk. Use our link for $50 off a year-long membership with Shipt (tip: use the Target app to take advantage of Shipt’s delivery service and Target’s Cartwheel deals!).
Visit the local farmers’ market rather than the grocery if available. Your local grocery may have had its supply chain disrupted or shelves cleared. The small, family-owned farms and businesses that frequent these markets would love to have you! Some farms have their own stands or alternative ways of purchasing their products and organizations such as Papa Spuds and the Produce Box deliver produce and goods from local farms, bakeries, and more.
Participate in the resale economy. The secondhand market is not reliant on the production and transportation of new goods, and you may be exposed to less shopping within your neighborhood than a frequented retail store. Shop online via platforms such as OfferUp, ThredUp, Poshmark, or Mercari, or skip the shipping and extra fees by visiting local thrift stores. Join area buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook, or find your local Buy Nothing group.
Donate to food pantries and shelters. If schools close and jobs reduce hours, the number of food insecure community members will increase. As you are stocking up on your own food and emergency supplies, consider picking up some extras for our most vulnerable.
Donate gently-used clothing and household items to organizations that benefit members of our immediate community, such as Note in the Pocket or Interact. These organizations are assets to our community, and need our support to continue their mission.
Reducing eating out? Enjoy local meal services such as Living Fit, who have a private kitchen, hold rigorous food and safety standards, and offer convenient delivery and pick-up options. Sweet tooth? Locally-owned Mon Macaron ships nationwide. Can’t wait? While they are national companies, services such as DoorDash and UberEats offer flexible earning opportunities and support the local economy when you select locally-owned restaurants from their options (use our DoorDash link for $15 off).
Avoiding groups but going stir crazy? Small businesses such as Cary Flow Yoga and the Tutu School feature low class sizes and manageable facilities, reducing your risk and supporting the local economy.
Cancelling travel plans due to the virus? Enjoy a staycation, and take advantage of reduced crowds at some of our areas’ best attractions! Check out our museums and excellent restaurant scene, or drive to one of North Carolina’s best getaways, from the mountains to our beautiful coastline.
When you support small, locally-owned businesses and services, you support the families of your neighbors, the parents of the kids in your child’s class, and so much more. Shopping small is important year-round, but when global issues become local, that support is truly invaluable.
Suggestions? Email us and we will keep this list growing. We are not affiliated with the businesses and services listed here. Some links do provide benefits and are indicated as such.