Practical Ways to Support Small Businesses Amidst COVID-19

July 27, 2021

It’s hard to argue that the hospitality and tourism industries have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus crisis and subsequent shutdowns. In fact, a report released by Eater showed that at least 44% of restaurant owners have closed temporarily due to COVID-19 and 11%are planning shut their doors for good within the next month.

We’ve talked about how you can support small, local businesses during the lockdown. And, we’ve taken a look at where small businesses can receive aid once funding runs (or ran) out of the trillion-dollar stimulus package that the government passed last month.

But, there are a few ways in which you can support your local restaurants specifically. While most have had to close down their dining rooms, most are also still open for takeaway or delivery. You’re likely tired of cooking during quarantine, too, and we don’t blame you. Here’s what you can do to support your local restaurants.

How to Support Local Restaurants During COVID-19

Truly Eat Local

Larger restaurant chains have different types of funding and investors backing their operations. It’s the mom and pop spots that are truly hurting during the coronavirus crisis. And, honestly, they’re often the spots where you’ll find the best food anyway. Eating local has become such a hot trend, even pre-coronavirus, that you can likely search “mom and pop restaurants near me” and a list of the best, truly local spots will come up. Call to see if they’re still open and what their dining options are. If you can, be sure to tip really well, especially if you order to-go as they’re likely spending extra on packaging and utensils to pack everything up for you to takeaway.

Buy Restaurant Gift Cards

If eating out is normally something you factor into your monthly budget and find that you can still afford to maintain that expense, continue to spend as normal. However, instead of actually going out once or twice a week, you can either choose to order delivery or simply purchase gift cards for future date nights and dinners with friends. In fact, if anybody you know has a birthday coming up, figure out what you’d normally spend taking them out to dinner and, instead, purchase a gift card to their favorite restaurant. It’s a nice gesture on your part that they’ll love and it’ll really help support local restaurants.

Order Takeaway or Delivery

This is the easiest action to take to support local businesses and small, independent eateries during the coronavirus crisis. Chances are that your favorite restaurant is still open, it’s just that you have to call to order curbside takeaway or order delivery from an app. Because they’re trying to give back to small restaurants and local businesses, most food delivery apps such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates are waiving delivery fees at certain times of the day and with special promo codes.

Write Great Reviews

Great Reviews
Picture Source: Aalto University

If you’ve been affected by closures, layoffs, or furloughs then we understand that you might not be able to afford eating out at the moment. However, you don’t have to spend a dime in order to support your local restaurants. One way to give back is to write great reviews online. Take ten minutes out of your day and leave comments about a great experience you had, the quality of the food, or even make a nice comment about a server you had that went above and beyond on your last visit.

Like & Share on Social Media

Again, not everybody is in a position to spend money eating out at the moment and that’s okay. Another free way to support local restaurants and small businesses is to like their social media posts and share their content on your own pages. If a local restaurant you love is offering a family pack promo for Mother’s Day 2020, for example, and you can’t afford the expense, share their social media post to your friends and family. You never know who might see it and ultimately make a purchase. If we all did this, we’d be helping restaurants further their reach by quite a lot.

Join Us In Supporting Our Community

At Earn Cheese, we’re doing what we can to support our local community, too. We’ve carried out two lunch budget donation programs where we randomly selected 40 users from the earn Cheese waitlist and reached out to them to give $50 each for their weekly groceries. Now, we’re opening the donation pool up to all of our current users and to those on the waitlist.

Because we’re interested in doing more to support local communities, we’ve also decided to donate 5 cents to a pool to help people in need every time you swipe your Cheese Debit Card.

On top of being a great way to give back, it’s a great way to maximize your own savings to help you earn extra cash you can spend at local restaurants while spending 0 banking fees. Interested? Sign up today to join the Cheese team in support and begin to unlock savings on top of it all.

Here're more ways to help small businesses:

5 Ways To Help Local Businesses During Coronavirus Crisis

PPP Ran Out: Where Else Can Small Businesses Find Relief?

5 Ways To Help Local Businesses During Coronavirus Crisis