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12 Ways to Support Local Businesses While Social Distancing

By Bonita Van Otterloo, Marketing Director


Part of our Peoples Bank Core Values is enriching our communities. Our local businesses are vital to our communities. They are what help our communities thrive and our local economies grow. They create local jobs, and when you shop local, your dollars stay local. It’s important for us to support and shop local all of the time, but they are needing our support now more than ever. 

 Photo: Interior of a coffee shop. Text: Our local businesses are vital to our communities and local economies. There are many ways we can continue supporting them even as we practice social distancing.

Businesses are restricted in the services they can provide or are closed altogether due to COVID-19. We should continue listening to the recommendations of local and national health officials and continue practicing social distancing, hand washing, avoiding touching your face and physical contact with anyone who’s sick. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stop supporting your favorite local businesses and organizations while sticking to your budget.

Here are 12 ways you can support local businesses and organizations during this time:

1. Buy Gift Cards or Certificates 

Gift cards or gift certificates can help bridge the gap for decreased sales. Buy some now and use them later.

2. Buy Local Online

Some local business storefronts are closed or have very limited access. If that is the case and they have a website, order online. Some businesses may even offer free delivery for residents within city limits.

3. Organizations

Our local organizations and churches are no doubt feeling the impact of COVID-19 with a decrease in volunteers, cancellation or postponements of fundraising events, and for some, a decrease in donations. There are several ways you can still support your favorite non-profit during this time.
  • Donate electronically - Many non-profits offer ways to donate funds through their websites, and some offer ways you can set up an online contribution via text message. Others offer automatic payment options, where you can set up a regular donation to be taken directly out of your checking account. You can also utilize Peoples Bank Bill Pay and set up a one-time payment or recurring payments to your organization of choice. Some organizations may also have a GoFundMe page set up to take in donations during this time. 
  • Send a check through mail.
  • Spring cleaning - For organizations like food pantries or those who take clothes and home goods, this time of social distancing is a great time to go through your home to find items to donate.

Photo: Woman with cell phone. Text: There are several ways to donate online to your favorite local organizations. One way is to use Peoples Bank Bill Pay for a one-time donation or recurring donations.

4. Restaurants & Bakeries 

Call in for carry-out, delivery or pick-up, depending on what the restaurant is offering. Some restaurants are even offering contactless delivery to promote social distancing. And, don’t forget to tip generously if you can! Some of these employees may be getting fewer hours and some of these businesses have fewer customers. So, if you can, make that employee’s day with a massive tip.  

Photo: Bag by a front door. Text: Most restaurants are offering take out, pick-up, or delivery options. Some are even offering contactless delivery.

5. Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are an essential business. Continue supporting your local grocery stores while practicing safe social distancing. Some grocery stores are offering a special shopping time for senior citizens. Some also have an online ordering option where you can order online and pick up all of your groceries at a designated time. Some grocery stores are even offering delivery to those who are unable to pick up their groceries.

6. Salons

Local salons are closed during this time. Many salons have started lists of people needing services when their business reopens. Get your name on that list; maybe they will let you pay now for your services later to help bridge the gap. Meanwhile, you can buy product from many salons now just to generate some income for them.

7. Wellness, Music & Art

With gyms, dance, yoga, music and art studios closed, many are offering virtual workout or music or art lessons. Check them out and do them from home. And, when you’re done, share it to your social media channels, to give them a plug. Another way to support these businesses is to pay for your membership or lessons in advance.


8. Buy Branded Merchandise

Some of your favorite local businesses offer branded merchandise like t-shirts, hats, mugs, totes, etc. If your favorite local coffee shop, bakery, store, etc. has branded merchandise, buy it, and wear or use it proudly. You can even take a picture of it or a selfie with it and post it on social media and tag that business to give them a shout out.


9. Give a Good Review 

While you’re not actually buying anything with this recommendation, a good Google, Yelp, or Facebook review can definitely help a business. If others know why you love supporting that business, they might support that business, too.


10. Social Media

In addition to giving your favorite local businesses a positive online or social media review, there are other ways to support them on social media.

  • Give the business a shout out on your own personal social media channels.
  • Like and/or follow their social media channels.
  • Engage! Share, like and comment on their social media posts.
  • Share their Facebook page to your Facebook timeline.

Photo: Cell phone and computer with thumbs up and hearts. Text: Give you favorite local business a good online or social media review, and engage on their social media channels.

11. Reach Out

If you’re not sure how to support your favorite local business during this time, reach out to them and ask. They’ll be glad you did!

12. Say Thanks

Stress levels are high, and many local business owners are worried about their livelihood. Send your favorite business a thank you note or an email letting them know you’re thinking of them and why you love their business. Compassion and connection go a long way right now.

We are all continuing to learn how to adjust to this time and how to take care of each other and ourselves. We hope you’re all doing well as we navigate this time TOGETHER. 

If you’re business looking for guidance during this situation, need assistance, or if you would like more information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), please contact us. We are ready and willing to help!


Here are a few additional business resources you may find helpful:
  • For the most current information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

Photo: Business owner by tablet. Text: If you're a business looking for guidance or needing assistance, contact Peoples Bank. We are ready and willing to help you!