In this time of uncertainty, many small businesses around Western New York are suffering and will fall victim to financial hardship. Small businesses are the backbone of our Western New York economy and community – we gather there, we shop local, and we consider some as second homes – now more than ever the need to shop local and support small business is critical. We will get through this, but during this challenging time here are some steps you can take to support your local small business, their owners, and their employees:

Order Online from Small Businesses  

While many businesses are closing the their physical locations, their products are available online through websites and social media. You can still purchase your favorite items and patronize your favorite shops during this time. Not only do you get to enjoy products and services you normally enjoy, but the added revenue is extremely beneficial to small businesses as they lose business from closing locations and losing regular customers.

Go to your local independent stores to stock up 

When you are heading out, observing all proper safety precautions, to gather essentials and non-essential goods consider heading to a local small retailer who carries these items instead of a bigger chain or box store. Small convenience stores and other small shops carry many of the same essential items that you need for you and your family, and each transaction you give them helps keep them open and keeps their employees employed. Encourage your friends and family to do the same!

Get takeout or delivery from a local restaurant 

While restaurants and bars in New York are closed for the foreseeable future for in-house dining and patronage, many in the area are still providing delivery and takeout services. When considering what to eat, or if you are looking to switch up your daily routine, you should consider calling or visiting the website of a local restaurant to order food and help them sustain their businesses during this time. 

Buy gift certificates now for later use

For stores and restaurants you cannot visit right now, buying gift cards from them directly will provide these businesses with much needed revenue as they endure this time of decreased patronage and shopping. You can hold onto these certificates, or give them to a friend or relative to use when stores and restaurants re-open for regular business operations.

Use social media

With the increased free time you may be having, consider using social media to shout out your favorite local businesses and share information about them to your friends and family. While some may have online ordering and others may not, by sharing information it will be greatly beneficial to these businesses now and especially once regular business operations resume.