As millions of people are now out of work and no longer able to go to a restaurant to sit down for a meal, it is important to remember that many of the places we enjoy are struggling as well. Many of us stocked up our pantries and dry goods to get us through quarantine but there is something to be said about the food at our favorite local restaurant.
As social distancing has been appropriately implemented, the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest-hit businesses in this economic crisis. As we are seeing record-breaking unemployment, it is important to remember that local restaurants are doing their part to help feed us and offer us the meals that we know and love. Take out is more popular now than ever as it is mandatory if they are going to be open at all. Services like Uber Eats and GrubHub are being utilized more than ever and is a great option for people during quarantine. Both services have been deemed essential so don’t feel bad about utilizing these services.
“This kind of upending of the labor market in such a short time is unheard of.”
HEIDI SHIERHOLZ, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE
How can you support small businesses without breaking the bank or your community’s economic structure? Here is a list that can help.
- Ask for options before you cancel. Businesses are getting creative in this crisis in an effort to keep their businesses alive and profitable.
- Ask for options for delivery, carry out or meal kits. If you have a regular family or friend dinner, buy meal kits or from the same restaurant and video chat a meal together. This will allow you to stay connected to your family and friends while supporting your favorite restaurant.
- Buy fresh! So, you stocked up on anything dried, canned or long-lasting. If you want your stockpiling to make any sense, you should eat fresh goods now. How about fresh pasta from your local deli? Fruit and vegetables from the farm shop?
- Buy from a small store. We’ve all seen the panic buying. Toilet paper, dried pasta, and spaghetti sauce were flying off the shelves faster than the staff could restock them. And most of that happened at large chain store supermarkets while the small, local shops have been less affected. Why not get your groceries at the local store on the corner? Grab some fresh produce from a local farmer. Give your business to a local business!
- Drive through a farmer’s market. These are getting more and more popular with social distancing. Check out this story about how people are shopping farmers markets in Portland, OR.
- Want to make a BIG difference? Ask a senior citizen in your neighborhood what they need. They are the most vulnerable during this COVID pandemic so we should all do our part to help keep them comfortable and well provided for.
One take-away I have read time after time is the economists all believe that this will all be temporary. The reality is just that, but some businesses will not be able to overcome the loss of income and will inevitably close their doors permanently. If you can financially afford to eat out, please keep in mind the small mom and pop restaurants and businesses who are truly struggling and don’t have the benefit of a large organization to keep their doors open. Be sure to share your tips with us and tag us on social media to let us know what you are doing to help your local community during the quarantine and go play outside!