With the arrival of our family’s Economic Impact Payment I reflected on how blessed military families are to have at least one income consistent during these trying times. We decided to spend a portion of our payment to help support our local economy and the small businesses we love. So many local small businesses are closed, have limited services or are operating with curbside delivery. Here are some suggestions of how you can help:
- Big Ticket Items – If you planned to purchase a new appliance or piece of furniture consider the local store rather than the big box chain. Local appliance stores may have slightly higher prices than the chains but they are still eligible for all the manufacturers sales and rebates. The customer service is more personalized. Often you are working with the owner or family member who really knows the products and can provide you with good recommendations of what will work for you.
- Military Spouse Business – Especially if they have a storefront. I have two friends that own local boutiques and although closed they offer online shopping and one even offers free local front porch delivery. If you know people in this situation, “like” and “share” their social media. Someone you know may need their products.
- Services – Buy gift certificates from your favorite hairdresser or barber to use when they can finally open again. Their businesses will thrive once this lifts, but they sure could use the money now. Another option is to buy some of the products sold in the salon if they offer curbside pick up or shipping options.
- Take Out – Step up your takeout orders to help local restaurants and their employees. Tip as if you were sitting in the restaurant to eat. Be generous. A $20 tip can buy quite a few groceries or fill a tank with gas (at corona pandemic prices).
- Farm Stands – As local produce starts to ripen, shop your local farm markets and stands. Many farmers are losing commercial contracts for food service as restaurants aren’t ordering. When you purchase produce at the farm 100% of the profit goes to the farmer. Especially this season it is so important to support our local farmers to help them get through these tough times.
- Teenagers and College Students – My son was laid off from his job serving food at an assisted living community so we have hired him to do some painting. Do you have any odd jobs or projects you can use help with? Take a break from yard work and hire a student to weed your yard. Struggling with setting up a website or learning social media, outsource to a teenager to help you get started or give you digital lessons.
- Shelters – Can use individually wrapped snacks to help serve food safely.
- Food Banks – Go through your pantry or look for items on sale to donate. I call to find out what they need the most of or just make a donation. Many banks buy in bulk and then breakdown into family size portions.
Over the past 15 years fighting a war on two fronts our local communities are so generous supporting the military with donations, discounts, supporting welcome home parties etc and know we have the opportunity to give back and help them in their time of need. How are you supporting your local community?