As the pandemic began to impact the economy, small businesses in Texas, especially in the Houston-area took a deep hit.
Many local stores and restaurants are scrambling to find ways to stay alive during the pandemic, but they cannot do so alone. From adjustments to takeout and delivery to online-only shopping, community support is needed now more than ever.
To find local restaurants in your area, check out this list here.
Here are seven ways to support small businesses during this time of crisis.
1. Order food from restaurants, whether take-out or delivery
With dining rooms closed due to coronavirus concerns, restaurants had to resort to take-out only, curbside ordering and/or delivery. The next time you decide to “eat out,” consider supporting your favorite local restaurant that may be struggling to regain its customers.
And when doing so, remember to tip employees well. Here is a list of curbside and delivery restaurants that are recommended by readers.
2. Buy gift cards
Gift cards make great gifts for friends, family or even for yourself. You can spend those gift cards once the pandemic subsides and when it is safe to shop in person again. Here is a list of 30 gift cards you can order online from Houston shops.
3. Send a review
Small business supporters are reviewing websites such as Google Local Guides or Yelp and leaving a thoughtful review on their favorite restaurant or shop. This is a way for other residents in the local area to know that those businesses remain open for your service.
4. Shop online, if it has a website
Smaller shops and boutiques are also hit hard by the pandemic. However, you can also support them. Ask employees if the establishments have a website or social media page. If it has curbside service, purchase items online and drive to the shop to pick them up, or call ahead just in case.
5. Tell them what you need
Small businesses are there for the community, no matter what. Some had to change course to cater to customers’ needs as it hunkers down during the pandemic.
Restaurants such as Eatwell Bakery-Cafe got creative by creating food kits, bringing their famous falafel to families in their homes.
Torchy’s Tacos started selling a “margarita quarantine kit” for fans, as Texans can now buy alcoholic drinks to go along with its food.
Margaritas, anyone? Shake ‘em up at home, Torchy’s style, with our new At-Home Margarita Kits! Available for pickup-only at participating Texas locations. Get the details here: https://t.co/0rSYEH4JaR pic.twitter.com/Eow0qEJH9a— Torchy's Tacos (@torchystacos) March 24, 2020
Don’t be afraid to ask what you need, whether it be a dozen kolaches or a dozen tacos.
6. Spread the word, refer a friend
It doesn’t hurt to show some love to your favorite business on your social media page.
“Tagging the company and providing a link gives them value from the post, brings their brand to the attention of an audience they may not have reached otherwise, and gives them a well-deserved confidence boost in the process,” said Elad Burko, CEO of PaperWallet, “Word of mouth is a powerful component of marketing, so if you want to show your support for a business — don’t stop at being a consumer, be an advocate.”
You can share pictures of what you purchased on social media as well, and be sure to tag a friend who may be interested.
7. Keep in touch
Many businesses are solely relying on social media to get word out there. If it is on social media, don’t hesitate to “like” or “follow” its pages to get the latest updates, such as sales and specials.