The Corona virus and its COVID-19 disease has terrible consequences for most of us. But even for those who did not get sick, its influence on our community is massive. Due to the lockdown, many stores, bars and restaurants are struggling to survive. But there are some things we can all do from home to help them survive. Here are some ideas:
1. Buy online from local stores and shops
For small shops and stores, the current closures are quite a challenge. Many of them are not allowed to open anymore or only in very limited capacity. But a lot of them already reacted and are now selling their stuff online: My favorite coffee place here in Hamburg for example now delivers coffee beans to my front door. For us consumers this is also very advantageous: We can stay inside and still support a local business. Before you just order everything on Amazon, check the websites of your local stores – they might have new services you don’t yet know about!
You can also order flowers from a local florist near your family and send them some love, even when you can’t visit them right now. And with more free time on your hands, why not order some new books from that little book store around the corner? Even if they don’t deliver, they might still open their store and can use some support right now!
2. Order food online or go get some takeout!
For restaurants, delivery is an option which many are already using. This can help them through the crisis to a certain amount – and we can treat ourselves with a nice meal without the cooking that we might be sick of at this point! The usual delivery options such as Lieferando are one way, but there are specific websites arising in this crisis such as localgastro.de/ for Germany.
Most places also still have take out, so this might also be great to combine a walk outside with doing something good for the community! Especially for cafes and bakeries, this is the only way to stay alive. And they need this business more than ever!
3. Help bars, restaurants and cafes by buying vouchers
For some places like bars, clubs or theaters and cinemas, this is even more challenging. But many places also offer the chance to buy vouchers: This way you can help them survive now and enjoy something nice later, once things are a little back to normal. This is also a good opportunity to surprise some of your friends who are especially struggling with the crisis now: Order a voucher online for a place close to them. Check the website of your favorite places or look for groups in social networks: There are several groups out there organizing help based on your location. For Hamburg, there is a huge Facebook group!
If you had tickets for something that got canceled, ask them to give you a voucher instead of refunding your money. That might help them more than you can imagine! This also applies to contractors such as hair dressers who are not allowed to operate right now.
4. Watch ads for your favorite cinema
Especially the smaller, not so mainstream cinemas are struggling, but there is a fantastic initiative to help them: Besides buying vouchers, you can watch advertisements for cinemas in Germany, Switzerland and Austria! On https://hilfdeinemkino.de/ you can select your cinema (like the beautiful Savoy cinema in Hamburg) and make sure they get the support they need. You can also donate there!
These are just some ideas I stumbled upon lately. What other ways have you found to #SupportYourLocals lately? Please share!